Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1955, Christian has been
living in the United States since1978. Building on a
foundation laid by a furniture makers apprenticeship
in Germany in the middle seventies, he studied sculpture
and drawing first at the Museum School in Boston and
then at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in
Vancouver BC. In 1982 he and his wife, Micheline, opened
Cold Mountain Studio in Southern Oregon. His early focus
was on furniture and interiors, but gradually shifted
to woodturning and sculpture, moving between vessel
oriented forms and sculptural turning. His work has
been included in most of the major turning related exhibits
of the last ten years and is exhibited widely throughout
the US. His pieces are part of many public and private
collections. He is also sought after as a teacher and
demonstrator at craft schools and conferences and related
turning events. He currently resides with his wife and
two sons at the outskirts of Ashland ,Oregon.
I feel very lucky to be able to do the work I do and
to be able to make a living at it. My workenables me
to connect with people in unexpected ways. In this technological
age, I find that people are responding to objects that
are gentle, and that carry a human touch and sensitivity.
I often notice peoples' reaction to my objects transcends
mere skill and material and connects to the spirit and
heart of the maker, a wordless connection that speaks
a language that all of us can understand.
material I use, pacific madrone burl, changes as it
dries, forcing me to step back from my work and relinquish
control for a short time while letting the wood find
it's own shape. Madrone burl, which grows along the
northwest coast of the United States, is the wildest
of all the woods I know. Not only does it have a wide
range of color and texture, it resists all attempts
to dry evenly. Instead it warps or cracks strongly and
gets very hard when it dries. In my current work of
baskets, gourds and similar forms, I turn it while it
is still green, while it is a pleasure to cut and handle.
I make use of the warping as the wood dries to create
attitude, gesture, and, when grouping these shapes togehter,
relationships. The soft surface texture is a direct
result of the cutting edge of my tools and light sandblasting.
Most openings are slightly burnt for contrast and to
enhance their looseness. When the wood is very thin,
these vessels don't crack, but when the wood is left
thick, the cracking can make a very dramatic effect
as well. Sometimes I use a wood bleaching process to
lighten the wood or remove all its color. Occasionally,
I use linen thread and telagraph wire to connect elements.
My objects are an attemt to tell stories. They give
glimpses of possibilities or act as metaphors serving
as a transport for ideas and things alike. A little
fantastic, a little odd. Some are solely because they
were a lot of fun to make. They are highly unlikely
with a life of their own.
- Ask the Gallery