b. 1982 Green Lane, Pennsylvania
2012 Turned Wood – Small Treasures, del Mano - A Gallery of Fine Contemporary Craft, LLC,
2011 Pi to Pentagon: Collaborations with Harvey Fein
Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Exposition, Chicago, IL
del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
New Perspectives in Wood, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2010 The Color of Wood, Habitat Gallery, Tysons Corner, VA
ITE allTURNatives: Form + Spirit, The Woodturning Center, Philadelphia, PA
Selected Works, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2009-10 Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Exposition, Chicago, IL
Small Treasures, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Across The Grain, Invitational Exhibition of Regional Fine Woodwork, Wayne Art Center,
2008 Collaborations at the Echo Lake Conferences: The First Ten Years, Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, PA
The Sphere, AAW Symposium, Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond, VA
Echo Lake X, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA
2007 Work in Wood, New Hope Arts Center, New Hope, PA
Roll Call: Wood Art from Current Teachers and Students, Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, PA
Turning Green, Touring
Oregon College of Art & Craft, Portland OR
AAW Gallery of Wood Art, St. Paul, MN
Echo Lake IX, Bucks Community College, Newtown, PA
2006 Work In Wood, New Hope Arts Center, New Hope, PA
Proud to Present Woodturning Exhibition, From the Wood Gallery, Hay-on-Wye, England
2005 reTURN to the Land of Oz, AAW Symposium, Overland Park, KS; AAW Gallery of Wood Art, St. Paul, MN
2010 Wood Art Today 2. Snyder, Jeffrey. Schiffer Publications, Westchester, PA.
2008 American Woodturner Magazine. Fall.
American Woodturner Magazine. Spring.
2007 American Woodturner Magazine. Fall.
American Woodturner Magazine. Spring.
2005 Learn to Turn: A Beginner's Guide to Woodturning from Start to Finish. Gross, Barry.
Fox Chapel Publishing.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Derek Weidman was born in 1982, and has dedicated the last seven years to exploring lathe-based sculpture. His approach involves multi-axis turning as the foundation of his work. By using the unique shaping processes of turning, Weidman has created a descriptive visual language that only the lathe can speak. This carving process creates novel representations of a wide range of subjects, from those based on human anatomy to various animal forms. Weidman works from a basic question, “What would this look like if rendered through the lens of a wood lathe?,”” and even with the most rigorous naturalism, an honest abstraction takes place, and for each new subject that question gets answered. So from human heads to rhinos, mandrills to birds, each idea being captured in a way it has not been expressed before.
“Here is an analogy: say if I were to draw a baboon, describing its features with a great deal of realism with my right hand would be relatively simple, but now if I were to draw a baboon with my left hand, some sacrifices would be made due to the limitations my left hand has. I would describe or capture the essence of the baboon differently with each hand. Now if we take this analogy one step further, say if I were to try and ‘draw’ a baboon with the lathe, the results would be much different, due to how the lathe works…”(From 2010 Profile in Woodturning magazine).
From very early childhood Derek has drawn constantly. He has a deep connection to nature, and his appreciation for wildlife has had a significant impact on his work. He also draws inspiration from astronomy, cosmology, ancient religions, as well as modern myths. He works in rural Southeastern Pennsylvania, where he lives with his girlfriend who has been with him for the entirety of his sculptural pursuits.
There are moments for all artists where a subtle change in perception can have powerful effects on our work. Wherever we happen to find ourselves in these moments, time seems to stop as we reach some epiphany. One such example I have of this in my own work was when the forms that a lathe can produce, such as bowls and vessels, stop dominating the way I looked at the lathe. I began trying to capture forms on the lathe like heads, torsos and animals, being described by multiple axes. With the geometry of a lathe in mind, some compromises are going to need to be made to capture the essence of these subjects. In these compromises, a certain amount of abstraction becomes a part of the aesthetic, as every line created bends and curves in one or more directions. The end result is a very novel representation of human anatomy or animal anatomy described in a visual language only the lathe knows how to speak. In this limitation, the curving surfaces, and the forced abstraction, I find a great deal of discovery and merit.
I enjoy pushing the boundaries of what wood turning and wood sculpture mean, as well as keeping myself firmly planted in the traditions and practices of all those craftsman and artisans that came before. Whether it be African masks or dovetailed cabinets there is a rich legacy to carry forward, and to add upon. The material is profoundly natural, it breaths the earth, and with each piece I make I try to express the value of what a wood sculpture can be. It is my hope that if I give the piece its proper respect, time and care when being made, it has a chance to happily live on in its own carefully rendered existence, knowing no other material could have given it more life.