Aspen Spirit

   Thankyou for taking an interest in my art I named Aspen Spirit, my name is Michael Shaft  from Bailey, Colorado.   The woodart you see is  from departed aspen, and pine, who have left their spirit for us to enjoy. 

I have always admired our pioneers who were able to make simple functional furniture of wood harvested from their homesteads.  As a child vacationing here with family,  I also enjoyed seeing the wood trinkets for tourists made from aspen.  I was blessed to move here yet was only able to secure a job in the metro area until 12 years ago, when I started an exterior wood care business which enabled me to make a living in the mountains.   Having 4 months off out of the year allowed me to turn my woodworking hobby into what you see here .

After  reading some how to books on rustic furniture, and building several pieces, I became more intrigued with the shapes, colors, and distinguishing markings of the wood, then it's furniture  functuality.  My pieces I like to think as nature, and balance converging into a sensual sculpture of nature.

 I often have a specific design in mind, other times the uniqueness of the wood influences what it becomes.  Each piece is a one of a kind.  My talent can also be used for individual home decor needs where as I can custom build one of my designs to a specific size.  

   Once the woodart  is designed,  I polish  each individual piece of wood (220 grit) before assembly.  This brings out the true spirit of the tree.  My ability to fit each  piece together adds to intrigue , and balance of the artwork,  it also allows me to conceal the fasteners that make my pieces durable for generations to come.  My pieces are then satin laquer dipped , which brings out the rich beauty, seals the wood, and makes it easy to dust.  For those that want a more natural look I use wood wax, followed by a buff polish.   A lot of my pieces are freestanding, and can be used on tables, mantle, or a wall.  I use keyhole fittings on all wall pieces that will hold up mural's and sconce's securely.  

    I harvest aspen, and pine from our property's in Bailey, South Park, and from friends and neighbors.   The hunt for worthy aspen can be as fun as the build, especially with Golden's.  I look for aspen with strength, character, color, and a way to get them out of the woods. 

The pieces here are a sample of the ever changing inventory that tends to fill up my house.    The categories for this year are - Trees,  lamps, mirrors, candle & plant holders, mantle pieces, center pieces, foot stools, vases, and shelving.           

My work can also be seen at The River Canyon Gallery in Bailey, CO, and on my website www.aspenspirit.com