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Maciej Gąsienica Giewont

Maciej Gąsienica Giewont was raised in Zakopane, in a mountaineering family with carpentry traditions. Wood has always played a major role in his life; growing up in the Tatry mountains, he was exposed to nature and the beauty of trees and timber. Being a trained carpenter, he discovered his passion for woodturning in the 90s along with the art of James Prestini. Regarded as a father of contemporary fine craft, influenced by Bauhaus and with an emphasis on simple form, Prestini became his guru. Inspired by his work, Giewont began experimenting with woodturning techniques himself. In 2005, he was granted a scholarship for the "Tribute to Tony Boase” project and got a internship at Mike Scott’s studio in the UK.

Artist about his work: “My goal has always been to let the nature of the wood speak for itself. I am not trying to control the wood but rather be its most adept listener. Each piece is like a human fingerprint, no two logs are alike. So-called defects are seen as advantages. Knots, cracks, discolouration and moreover the configuration of the rings all show a history. I am trying to emphasise it, to make it palpable. I use the lathe as a turning tool to discover the most appealing shape that best interacts with the grain and colours. I often leave the rawness of the wood untreated or with a minimal coat to let the colour of the wood get darker through time and use. I share my philosophy with the Japanese aesthetic “wabi-sabi”, revering authenticity above all. My works are made from locally-grown timber. Works are derived from decades-old trees, often obtained from cuttings, sick trees or those intended to be cut down. I treat wood with respect  and, through my work, I try to give it new life.”

Classified as fine contemporary craft, Giewont works are often presented at sustainable design exhibitions and in private collections throughout Europe and the USA.