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Location:
Cutler
Medium:
Fine Woodworking
Availability:
Grateful Heart Gallery, Lafayette; Falk Wood Studio by appt; online via etsy
FEATURED WORK
Peter Falk

Peter’s furniture and woodwork is unique because of his strong consciousness of blending the attributes of wood, its grains and colors. His style of carving is particularly unique in Indiana, as is his incorporation of marquetry. His work reflects his awareness of the richness of a three dimensional perspective in leaving open spaces and adding depth.

It was in Indiana where Peter Falk realized he was not only a carpenter but also a wood artist.  “In my life, in my training, location, relationships, and the native materials I use, my story has centered in Indiana,” he said.

As a youngster, Peter enjoyed being outdoors and working with wood.  “Spending time in the workshop began before my school years,” he said.  “Some of my earliest boyhood memories are at the workbench with my brother, carving dugout canoes for our GI Joes.”  His woodworking skills grew under his dad’s tutelage, and they developed further through Indiana 4-H.   “Then some local craftsmen mentored me in designing and constructing fine furniture, cabinet making and in the art of marquetry,” Peter recalls.

While attending a conference in Massachusetts, Peter met an historical carpenter near Boston, “who asked me to work for him, which I did for more than five years.  I also met the master carver/wood sculptor Dimitrios Klitsas.  Through Dimitrios’ mentorship, I was able to begin my pursuit of designing and sculpting with hand tools.”

While studying with Dimitrios, Peter continued to be drawn to rural settings, calling them “the place where I am most at home and where my inspiration thrives.”

While pushed to higher levels of skills during the years in Boston, Peter reflects that “I also realized that my personality was geared for the rural setting.  I eventually returned to Indiana where I am combining the standard of culture, art and beauty in my woodworking.”  From his rural studio, Peter draws upon the landscape and native material for inspiration and raw materials.  Through his relationship with tree owners and sawyers, he has been able to use native trees for his furniture and artwork.

“While a painter uses oils and pigments to create a picture, as a wood artist I ‘paint’ with wood,” Peter explains.  “A tremendous variety of color, lines and patterns are naturally possible with the species and grains of wood.  In designing my work, I strive to combine and harmonize the appropriate and complementary wood grains and colors within the structure of the final piece.”

After selecting the rough wood, Peter is “very deliberate” about making the individual pieces he cuts from the board, making sure they match and flow from one section to the next in the intended furniture or piece he’s creating.  His work includes furniture, and lately children’s furniture.  He also creates wooden trivets, boxes, trays, and chests, in which he incorporates techniques including carving and marquetry.

Integrity is a paramount quality in the way he works.  “The structural integrity in my joinery creates pieces that are both aesthetically pleasing as well as structurally sound,” he said.  That’s important to Peter because it enables a piece to be handed down to future generations.

Peter says his work is distinguished in five ways from other furniture makers and sculptors.  It’s unique in his strong consciousness of blending the attributes of wood, its grains and colors.  His style of carving is particularly unique in Indiana, as is his incorporation of marquetry.  His work reflects his awareness of the richness of a three dimensional perspective in leaving open spaces and adding depth.  Finally, he says his work is distinguishable because of the inspiration drawn from his surrounding environment.

“My art is inspired by the creation around me,” he said.  “It might be a sun rise, the plowed fields, the ripples in water from a drop of rain.  Sometime this is expressed in catching a moment in time in a flowering orchid, but it also can be geometric patterns and not a literal recreating of a scene. In my work, I am inspired by the lightness and flow of the open spaces around my home.”

Peter says, “My work comes from a rural county right in the heart of Indiana.  I am working in a rural community that is often thought of for its hogs and not its art.  I am bringing a quality of work to Indiana and Carroll County that is fresh and unique.”

Being juried to be an Indiana Artisan, Peter senses that others recognize the superior quality of his skills and the furniture and other products he designs.    He anticipates the opportunities in the marketplace to reach the discerning clients that Indiana Artisan is known for reaching.