For the love of wood, two individual artists met, married, and now share in their love for art. Rich Kerrell and Sarah Loynd are the featured artists in April 2023 at the Village Gallery of Local Artists.  Their hand-created pieces of wood are one of a kind.  They will be available at the First Friday event for you to meet in person on April 7th from 5-8 PM. They will be providing a wood steam bending demonstration of their spoon and fork sets and showing their other wood art that is made with the cutoffs during the First Friday event.

Ever since humans stopped dwelling in caves and started living in huts made of tree branches, wood has been an indispensable structural and decorative residential material. Man’s house-building relationship with wood—historically, culturally, and experientially—is deep, long, and universal. In part that’s because wood is abundant, economical, durable, and flexible. But our enduring love affair with wood is also due to the fact that, like us, each piece of timber is unique—its color, texture, and grain are as individual as a human personality, so we keep discovering new aspects of its beauty and versatility to delight in.

Individually, both Kerrell and Loynd as artists had honed their woodworking skills over many years.  In 2005, they met at a woodworking club event in Southern California.  Both Kerrell and Loynd shared in a vision of creating with their hands and soon joined their ideas in marriage and artwork.  Wood touches us all in a real and personal way.

Kerrell enjoys the designing phase of the artwork he creates. It is a chance to express his creativity using wood as a medium. He also likes the process of milling the wood and watching the piece come to life. The whole process is very enjoyable to him. Loynd enjoys taking different items such as smaller cutoffs, manzanita branches, copper wire, and beads, and turning them into something amazing. For example, she noticed in the center of the spoon and fork sets Kerrell makes, a heart shape, which started her heart pendant creations. From there other shapes were inspired. She found raven feathers in the yard and incorporated them into her recent raven artwork collection.

Kerrell states, “Over the years we have collected a large amount of wood from various sources most of which are cutoffs from other processes such as guitar and furniture making. Much of this wood is hard to find now and very expensive such as Hawaiian Koa and Honduras Mahogany. The wood we collected is from old-growth lumber milled more than 20 years ago. This is the wood we use as our reclaimed wood for our artwork. The wood is well seasoned, stable, and we give it new life in our artwork.”

After 10 years of planning, Kerrell and Loynd built a large workshop on their property after they moved from California and now have a space that allows them to store and create in a comfortable and inspiring space.   Over 2000 square feet of the workshop allows them to take their creativity to a new level, add new tools and explore larger artworks.

Their art is unique with some pieces being functional and other pieces are for enjoyment.  All of their art pieces highlight the beauty of the wood and are tastefully finished for durability.

Creating new furniture designs is also an area Kerrell continues to explore. As the years pass, he plans to introduce new materials such as metals, glass, stone and resins into his work.  His commitment to using reclaimed wood gathered over many years in the guitar industry will never change. He feels wood is too precious of a resource to waste.  Rich and Sarah work closely to refine their woodworking skills. Together they play off their strengths to create wonderful works of wood art.

Both Kerrell and Loynd are available to do custom work.  They offer custom-designed signs and plaques as well as furniture. Working with the client’s ideas they discuss, design, and craft the perfect pieces to meet the client’s needs.

The Village Gallery of Local Artists is located at 6512 State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek and is open 7 days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  You can reach the Gallery by phone at 928-284-1416.  Please stop by to see Rich and Sarah’s work as well as the work of 40 other local artists.