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Paul Troyano

Wood / New Orleans, LA

Artist Statement

I build one-of-a-kind furniture and bowls from local woods, with trees that have come down or reclaimed wood.

Biography

For 20+ years I've been making furniture, but the last few years I have been looking for a fresh approach. Attending a workshop with Sam Maloof was a turning point for me. He used his eye to shape a chair and also showed us how to use laminating as a technique for bending wood. A table is a surface suspended above the ground by definition. So how would Nature hold a table? I try to build tables that imitate Nature's designs, asymmetrical and unique as tree branches. Nature around us is God's expression to us. 'Tree tables', 'vine tables' are my version of this. These table legs use 1/8 thin strips of wood, which are glued together so they can be shaped and bent into the forms needed. This process is called lamination. Then they are sculpted into Nature's shapely legs. Chairs are the toughest challenge for my legs resembling trees. There are a few designs I am working on with layered legs. For pedestals tables I shape the pedestal from one piece with natural curves.

Kitchen utensils like salad fork and spoon, rolling pin and cutting boards have become a part of what I do since these are functional, yet they must have a unique shape from Nature as well for me.

Louisiana has a good variety of trees to choose from. Whether I am turning bowls from local trees that have been taken down or building furniture, I prefer domestic woods, as they contain a wide range of beauty and workability. Pecan, magnolia, cherry, walnut, pear, camphor and mulberry are some favorites. Exotic woods like paduk or purpleheart, I have used for ornamentation and are available from certified forests, which indicates they are replanting with the ecosystem in mind. But my primary source of wood is local trees.


I am a member of The Furniture Society, which promotes the art of furniture making, also the American Craft Council, a national nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft, American Association of Woodturners, a group dedicated to the advancement of woodturning ,the
Louisiana Crafts Guild, which teaches and promotes creative expression and artistic excellence in Fine Craft and Green America with a mission to harness economic power to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.