Originally from Hawaii, I have resided in Western Pennsylvania for the last 45 years. My chosen field of work was construction engineering and field installation. I started out in 1969 & 1970 by studying Industrial Drafting and Design at a small electronics school in Monrovia, CA, and later in the early 1970’s Electrical Engineering at Penn State Fayette Campus in Uniontown, PA. I traveled quite extensively throughout my career with projects all over North America, Asia and Europe. Along the way always finding time to dabble in woodworking projects which is my true passion. In the early 1980’s I started tinkering with a small lathe looking for a creative outlet. As a lifelong wood connoisseur, I can honestly say my passion started a lifetime ago growing up in Hawaii by touring Hawaiian culture museums and galleries as a youngster and now is one of the key influences in my work along with passed artisans of ancient cultures and modern artisans.
I’m a fan of the term “Ugly Wood” and as a matter of fact the uglier the better. The inner beauty, with grain patterns, natural voids and cavities, and decay is what Mother Nature created, and it is now my job to find and coax that natural beauty out of it. “I derive an enormous amount of energy and personal satisfaction from knowing that the wood in the piece I’m creating was most likely destined for the dump, a wood chipper or someone’s bonfire” is a mild understatement regarding my work. Turning that into collectable artwork is the next layer of gratification. Not all pieces make it to completion, which makes for some interesting and sometimes expensive burning material
I’m often questioned about my sources for my raw material I rely heavily on a network of close friends and local collectors who are keenly aware of my fondness for “Ugly Wood”. Pieces of raw material have come to me from as far away as Avery Island, WA to St Michaels, MD, or right here in our neighborhood of Bethel Park, PA. If you feel you have something of interest feel free to contact me here.
Mahalo for your time and interest,
Edric Nalani Florence