Photographer Painter Pyrographer Massage Therapist Woodworker Gardener Stay-at-home Dad
I was born and raised, and currently live, in Pittsboro, NC, where the lush Chatham County forests have nurtured an appreciation of nature. Traveling in this country and abroad has shown me the vast variation of landscapes and lifeforms on this planet, and has ingrained the patterns and processes of the natural world in my mind.
For over fifteen years, I have practiced photography, searching my surroundings for points of interest. Looking at the world through the camera makes me slow down and notice things I would otherwise walk right by. My powers of observation came into focus when I learned to identify plants in college, allowing me to break the wall of green forest into its individual parts. Photographing nature through this botanical lens has been very influential in my development as an artist, and it continues to train my artistic eye, sense of composition, and appreciation for natural forms.
After completing my degree in Biology from UNC Asheville, I returned to Chatham County and worked on sustainable farms, in greenhouses, and other landscaping and labor jobs. Ultimately, I wore my body out, and I found relief with the help of massage therapy. Once I discovered the Body Therapy Institute in Silk Hope, it felt natural to be trained as a massage therapist because I have an affinity toward working with my hands and a desire to nurture. Now I am a practicing licensed massage and bodywork therapist here in Pittsboro, where I specialize in helping clients optimize their bodies as they age. Go to Andrew Wilson Massage & Bodywork for more information.
If I am not massaging or making art, you will most likely find me with my daughter, swinging on swings, hiking in the woods, or just playing like a 6-year-old. You will also find me playing in my native plant garden, doing home improvement projects, or checking out the local thrift stores.
About My Art
I have always been attracted to the inherent beauty of wood. The diversity of wood is incredible, and it is amazing that even after all the advancement in human technology, we have yet to create a material as useful and beautiful as wood.
While most of my woodworking projects through the years have been primarily functional, in 2012, there was a shift. I created a spiral earring for my then future wife out of unique fungus-stained wood. It was only a single earring, and it became a symbol of strength and confidence for her, as well as a conversation starter. I then became interested in sharing this with others, and now, I continue to design unique earrings that catch the eye and catalyze compliments.
I like to frame my earrings by burning the wood, creating a contrasting color and texture. Now I have taken my burning theme to a new level with the use of a Lichtenberg figure wood burner, a device that passes high-voltage electricity (12,000 volts) through the wood, creating branching, tree-like patterns as the electricity searches for the most conductive path. I have developed techniques to control this unpredictable process in order to create specific images, which has allowed me to design interesting wall art. I try to incorporate the wood grain into each piece, and adding acrylic paints increases the depth and warmth of the woodburnings. The electricity burns channels in the wood creating relief, resulting in unique pieces of art.
For me, the greatest tool for cultivating happiness and self-worth is to create.
Through my art, I hope to share this joy with you.
While my artistic vision acts as a guide, it feels as if I am a watcher, allowing a process to happen through me, as beauty is refined, and nature is transformed into functional and aesthetic art. Incorporating art into everyday objects enriches the experience of daily life. The objects I create exhibit the attention I give to form and function, through high-quality designs made with love and intention.
We are surrounded by a growing number of things that insulate us from the positive healing energy of our planet. Our feet are shielded by shoes and seldom make it off the pavement to touch the nourishing soil, and our food comes to us in a shroud of plastic. Our individual and planetary well-being calls for us to keep nature in balance. Nature-inspired art has the power to positively affect our everyday life by connecting us to the warmth of the Earth.
Embrace our radiant Earth.
Also check out this Chatham Arts Council article: