Kevin Reiswig is a furniture maker and wood sculptor whose work focuses on experimentation with materials, forms, and a diverse range of processes. His working style can be both freeform and incredibly meticulous, depending on the piece or the stage of a given project. Kevin makes decisions based on feeling and intuition, reaching into a lifetime of experiences to inspire and inform his work.
Kevin is an avid observer of living things—plants, animals, and fungi—and enjoys analyzing their shapes, surfaces, and structures. His work contains many references to the living world, such as the shapes and connections of branches and seedpods, the eyestalks of a snail, the ready stance of an animal, or the curves of the human body. Elemental forces such as flowing water or the radial geometry of sunlight also inspire his work. Kevin believes his work will help bring natural connections back into homes of people living in urban environments.
Speaking about his process, Kevin says: “I think of making as a way to use my hands and mind as an interface with material reality or ‘the mystery of existence.’ That is to say, part of the way I explore nature is by exploring the capabilities and limitations of materials, my body, and my mind. This attitude towards making exposes an underlying paradox of my practice: I admire the natural world, and yet I consume its resources. I therefore feel an incredible responsibility to incorporate healthy conservation behaviors into my life and work. I use as much found scraps and reclaimed wood as possible, I primarily use earth-friendly finishes, and I have committed myself to planting many more trees every year than I cut up. I also teach woodworking so that I can share these ideas with more and more people. These actions help ease my conscience slightly, and allow me to demonstrate that human activity and the built environment can exist as a part of nature as opposed to ‘apart from’ nature.”
Kevin Reiswig grew up in rural Ohio and attended The College of Wooster, where he graduated with a BA in studio art, focusing on wood sculpture. He is an Anderson Ranch Arts Center alumnus, having worked there as a summer workshop intern (in 2010) and again as artist-in-residence (in 2013). Kevin lived in Chicago from 2010 to 2017, where he was employed most notably as a maker for Theaster Gates (2011-2015), John Preus (Dilettante Studios), Rebuild Foundation, and others. He has exhibited his creations since 2010, both domestically and abroad. Kevin currently operates his own studio in Port Townsend, Washington, and is a faculty instructor at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking.