Jay Whyte

Jay Whyte’s life changed when he bought a TV in 1996. Without extra money to buy a stand, he decided to gather up a few power tools and spend $100 on raw materials. When he was finished, the stand he’d built exceeded his expectations. It was “nothing short of exhilarating. I knew right then that I was going to make sawdust from that point on,” he explains.

Christine Kaiser

It’s only safe to make one assumption about Christine Kaiser‘s work: don’t make assumptions. Here’s a clue—it’s not clay. She’s been working with wood for more than 20 years, sanding it so smoothly you can’t tell what it’s made of until you pick it up.

Most of Kaiser’s work is made of basswood, a renewable North American hardwood with a straight grain “that carves, sands and takes paint nicely.” She cuts the wood with a band saw, shapes it with a belt sander and adds carved details with a rotary tool. Then she injects life into the work with multiple layers of water-based paints and graphite drawings, achieving a soft finish with layers of matte varnish.