Melissa Engler & Graeme Priddle
Objects made from wood evoke comfort and familiarity. Wood is relatable. We are all well acquainted with different species of wood through our home furnishings and our outdoor landscapes. But, what may not be as recognizable is wood used as a sculptural medium. Over the last two decades wood sculpture has undergone a revolution. It’s no longer just about turning wood on a lathe. Today wood is carved, inlaid, etched, painted and burned. It’s an exciting medium and artists such as Melissa and Graeme are at its forefront.
Melissa Englers’ career path came through an early interest in outdoors, travels and study of printmaking and sculpture. Later, she struck upon the idea of art being used in everyday life: furnishings. She enrolled in Haywood Community College’s Professional Craft Program and was honored with multiple awards for her designs. Her interest in sculpture later resurfaced and her studies in the furniture concentration furthered her abilities to cultivate a style and voice of her own. Engler’s sculpture speaks to conservation and preservation of plants and animals. After graduation, Engler began working at Grovewood Gallery in Asheville assisting clients and meeting the artists represented. Through this work, Melissa met Graeme Priddle.
Graeme is from New Zealand. He has traveled and taught woodturning and sculpture workshops around the globe since the early ‘90’s. His style is intricate and intriguing, most often relating to his native New Zealand culture or his experiences with boats and travels. Graeme’s sculpture sometimes employs surface decoration, but also can remain unembellished to let the natural wood speak first. Graeme is well connected to the international network of professional artists in wood sculpture. His relocation to Asheville brings his wealth of knowledge and a high level of skill adding another highly regarded name to the artists living in the Western North Carolina region.
Recently wed, Melissa and Graeme share a small studio, as well as maintaining a busy teaching and exhibition schedule. Let me check their availability! If their calendar is open, Melissa and Graeme would love to have us visit!