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Sculptor Prefers Wood for Creating Dynamic Pieces Rich in Movement and Organic Appeal

Paul Olson's ENTWINE BALANCE typifies the almost dancer-like sensuality he brings to his graceful wood sculptures. Scroll down for more artwork...

For award-winning sculptor, Paul Olson, nothing beats the tactile lure of a good piece of wood along with its warmth and unique grain variations. Working mostly with hardwoods like walnut and cherry, his creations project a supple, litheness that seem to almost dance in place.

“I like making forms that are semi-abstract, simple, and elegant,” Paul explains. “I especially enjoy experimenting with pieces that have some movement to them. Observing the naturally organic forms found in nature are always an inspiration to me.”

Fashioning his graceful sculptures into mostly tabletop pieces, he has also created larger ones measuring four feet and beyond. However, the smaller sizes are preferential for many reasons – easier for the buyer to transport and then place prominently in their home or office.

Paul doesn’t carve from a block of wood, but from one-inch boards cut according to his patterns and then glued together in a rough approximation of the finished piece. From there, he carves and sands. Many times, his ideas are first explored by working with clay as he tries out various approaches until reaching the right one.

Although he studied sculpture at Chicago’s School of the Art Institute and at the now shuttered Contemporary Art Workshop, he is primarily self-taught in working with wood. Prior to stepping into art, his earlier careers included teaching and working as a medical librarian.

When it comes to naming his finished pieces, Paul takes a fluid approach.

“I want to suggest forms and feelings without directly naming them," Paul says. “I prefer open-ended names for my work so the viewer can bring their own thoughts and feelings to it.”

Other favorite subjects to sculpt include musical notation and treble clefs reflective of his love of music and the enjoyment he finds singing in choirs. Prices range from $200 to $500.

Paul’s work can be found in collections throughout the United States and in England, Germany and Canada.

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