Impeccably built and finished, birdseye maple cutting boards from Ridgeway, WI woodworker Edward Wohl are enjoyable to handle and use. Ed creates pieces of versatile design that are beautifully balanced. Because birdseye varies in color and grain pattern, elements for each board must be culled from a single piece of wood. The care with which he cuts and matches his materials in this way has become Ed’s trademark.
Ed, who has a background in architecture, began making furniture in 1970. “I was searching for a career where work and play were indistinguishable,” he says. Several experiences influenced the emerging artist around that time. Ed served with the Peace Corps in Pakistan. He built prototypes for his friend and mentor, industrial furniture designer Bill Stumpf, and spent a summer living and working at the studio of master furniture maker Sam Maloof.
Ed eventually established a studio in southwestern Wisconsin, sited for the view of neighboring fields and woods. Together with his wife Ann Wolfe and a small staff, he supplies cutting boards to galleries in the United States and Japan. He continues to make furniture, offering a limited production line of chests, benches and tables and accepting custom commissions when time allows.
“I make things of wood that I’d like to have myself – functional pieces that are quiet, peaceful, and a pleasure to touch and look at,” states the artist. “My approach emphasizes select materials, structural integrity and utility. I like to let the wood do the work – to coax nature to imitate art.”