Sculptor and Turner, Artist Rickey Noel Mitchell, creates art in stone and wood, inspired by wildlife and nature of the Northwest.
Nature has always been my greatest inspiration, anything wild and untouched, but most of all... the creatures that fly and survive in its forests, swim in its oceans, rivers, creeks and lakes. As a carver of stone and wood it has always been the same since I turned a bowl from a piece of buckeye burl over 30 years ago. I’d been turning seriously for over a year before I turned this particular bowl and I’d been a wood worker long before that.. The buckeye burl bowl was my first collaboration. A small piece of a buckeye burl had been a gift from a friend before it became a bowl. It sat on my bench for a few months before I had the nerve to cut into it. The small slab of burl, was an explosion of color... red, blue and black with a yellow back ground, It was gorgeous to behold, because of that fact, it imitated the hell out of me.
Not quite ready to carve something out of it, I decided to put it on the lathe. No particular form or shape in mind, I watched the seven inch x three inch circle of buck eye spin on my lathe for a minute or so, then I move my gouge up against the wood and watched as I removed the shavings and the true beauty of the wood exposed it self. Though I was pretty proud of it at the time, at best... my finished work, looked like a big graceful donut. For the first time I had brought out the inward beauty of a piece wood.
And now many years, bowls and sculptures later, my goal is not just to collaborate with the wood but also to take the inspiration it has given me and through impression, connection,teaching and creating...make the word around me a better place.