Rod Aspeslet with a series of bowls he carved.

Wood Works – At home with wood carver Rod Aspeslet

  • Apr. 16, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Rod Aspeslet’s home in the Big Eddy is covered with his own creations: Two coffee tables with curving bases in the living room, the headboard for his bed, a multi-plant stand and numerous carvings decorating the walls. One of his chairs uses moose antlers for legs.

Aspeslet started off a logger creating furniture from the trees he fell. His creative spirit came about 20 years ago when he went to purchase 150 oval cut-outs from a door factory.

“I was going to build some coffee tables and benches but the guy I picked them up from in Sorrento was a carver and I looked at his stuff and got inspired,” he said.

He creates his works from salvaged cedar – wood that would normally get burned. He’s taken these scraps and turned them into massive doors, a backgammon table, stylish chairs, and cedar burrow bowls.

“The beauty of the wood, the grain in the wood intrigues me,” he said. “And the colour.”

To create his carvings, Aspeslet will provide an image to his friend, who in turn creates a vinyl cut out of it. From there, Aspeslet gets to work.

“I’ll use power tools, I’ll use hand tools – whatever is most efficient for the job,” he said.

Some of his carvings go from the outside in, carving away at the layers as they deepen. Others, he works from the inside out, adding layers as he goes along.

One thing Aspeslet doesn’t do is add colour to his carvings. He lets the colour in the wood stand out by itself.

Aspeslet spent 25 years as a faller but he’s since given that up. Two years ago, he said, he joined the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre and he is also a member of the North Columbia Artists Coop.

“No one wants a 55-year-old faller anymore so I had to use some of my hobbies as a way to make a living,” he joked.

Aspeslet’s work can be seen at Art First and he also does commission pieces. To contact him, call 250-837-2278.

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