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June Featured Artist: Elyssa Cichy

Elyssa Cichy's art continues to evolve, and revolve, around a warm and familiar subject. Wood.

Over the years, we've loved watching how Elyssa works with wood – from her first solo show to her participation in our annual Click! crew shows, she always leaves us wide-eyed and wanting more. And this collection is no exception – with her meticulous and intricate designs and oh-so-carefully turned and finished forms, her way with wood shines through.

Elyssa's work is included in our Wood Group Show that will run through July 10th. The entire assortment of works debuts during West Seattle Art Walk on Thursday, June 9th from 5-8p with select pieces available online.


How would you describe what you make? 

Experimental wood creations with pyrography embelishments.

What drew you to this medium and style of work?

I started off as a wood burning artist, making tree-scapes with acrylic and pyrography, but the form and movement of wood has drawn me further and further into the creation of pieces like bowls and plates and vases

Can you describe your favorite part of the process in your work? 

When I have a piece on the lathe, and I’ve been sanding it forever, and I finally get to put on that first coat of oil or finish and really see what the grain is going to  look like on the finished piece.

Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the current collection? 

There are three small maple bowls that have just beautiful, amber, wavy grain. I love the way they look, and how they feel in my hands.

If you could collaborate with anyone (living or not), who would it be and why?

I would love the opportunity to collaborate with a ceramic artist to make wood-hugged ceramic mugs or table lamps or bowls. I love the idea of mixing of natural wood and stoneware to create functional pieces.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 

My husband is meticulous in his attention to detail, and he does a great job of reminding me not to rush the finish of a piece, or to walk away and come back before deciding it’s done.

Do you find that your work processes change with the seasons, and if so, how? 

I slow way down in the winter because my shop gets so cold. It’s hard to work power tools with numb fingers!

Has there been a big “oops” moment you’ve had while creating? What was the outcome?

Constantly. I have an entire shelf full of oops pieces that may or may not ever make it back onto my work bench.

When you are in the studio, what are you listening to? 

The Midnight, Missy Higgins, Chvrches, anything I can dance to.

What is your most treasured handmade possession? 

I have three creative children, and I treasure their art pieces. Paintings, notes, cartoons. Everything they make.

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