Friday artist – Jeffrey Hunt
Jeffrey Hunt, Nevada City
What is your career and your current job title? I am a furniture designer and builder.
Describe your art in a sentence or two. I make custom furniture, one-of-a kind pieces, for residential clients. I combine form and function with an Asian feel, as well as touches of art deco and Bauhaus influences. I might also incorporate metal and glass, and handmade hardware, cast hinges and pulls.
How long have you been working in this discipline? Off and on since 1977, and consistently since 1991. As a child, I watched my father build things. He gave me my first set of real tools. I always loved to work with my hands, building models, wooden boats, toy cars.
Why do you do it? It’s something I feel compelled to do. It keeps my mind alive as I solve joinery problems, keeping in mind the properties of wood and how it moves, twists, shrinks and expands.
What do you hope to accomplish? I like to think I give my clients something they can appreciate for a lifetime. I would like my work to outlast me. I am able to express my creativity through the work I do for my clients, which provides them with something they’ll treasure for their lifetimes and beyond.
Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? No particular message, other than I want my work to add to the harmony and beauty in my clients’ lives.
Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works may be seen? Continue doing it full time. Since I’m new here, I want to expand my presence in the community. In addition to the upcoming Open Studios Art Tour, I am showing at the Mowen/Solinsky Gallery and participated in a show at Deer Creek Studio last May. I do a show annually in San Francisco, sponsored by the American Craft Council.
What kind of special training did you take? If none, how did you learn the art techniques or processes? I’m mostly self-taught … a few classes here and there at Laney College in Oakland, but I learned most of what I know by trial and error.
What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? Conceptualizing a design, seeing the piece come together, seeing if it matches up to my original vision.
What is your least favorite part of your endeavor? Selecting woods. It’s tedious, looking for grain that complements the lines of a piece. On the flip side, I may find a piece of wood that is so beautiful that I have to have it. I know a project will come along that will be perfect for it, but that could be several years down the line.
How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? Way too many, but now that home and studio are adjacent, I’m able to flow back and forth between needs at home and in the shop.
Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? Physically, what I do involves maneuvering large planks, often 14 feet in length or more and weighing several hundred pounds. A lot of elbow grease goes into sanding and finishing. Yes, it’s hard work. It helps to be mechanically minded and be able to picture things in three dimensions.
Any other comments you’d like to include? I’d love people to visit my studio (13000 Diamond Oaks Drive) any time, but particularly during this weekend and next, which is the Open Studios Art Tour. It’s a great opportunity for the public to visit with artists and see their working environment.
Jeffrey Hunt can also be reached at 470-0334 to arrange studio visits throughout the week.
To recommend a creative talent for this weekly feature, contact Carol Feineman at email@example.com or 477-4232.
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Six months ago, the future looked pretty bleak in terms of the live music scene, and I could not have predicted where we are now.