By JILL WILSON
for Inland 360
Alix Stevens may be a little new to woodcarving, but not only can she whittle and chisel – she can show you a thing or two about following one’s inspiration. Stevens crafts utilitarian items such as spoons, cutting boards and serving trays.
“I’ve always had that itch to create. I’ve tried knitting and sewing and other forms of creating, but to me there’s just something more rugged and more satisfying about taking a big chunk out of the raw material and being able to refine it,” said Stevens, of Moscow.
For Stevens it all started with a little inspiration, a DIY spirit and a wedding.
“My husband is a general contractor and was taking down an old cedar fence and rebuilding it, and we needed a backdrop for our wedding. So we built this massive geometrically shaped wall. It was so neat to see my design go from a piece of paper to an actual physical piece, and I was just addicted to it after that.”
Stevens is attracted to raw material and seeks to bring out its natural beauty.
“That nature can produce this rippling effect, just from the tree grain compressing, I find completely fascinating. And it captures light really beautifully. I like bringing those things out and planning particular pieces to have certain characteristics.”
Each of Stevens’ pieces is wet sanded for better quality and finished with an FDA-approved, food-safe mineral oil to seal in the grain. Items range in price from $10 to $150, depending on the size of piece and artistic embellishments.
Some of her work is on display as part of the “Wood & Word” exhibition at the Third Street Gallery in Moscow, which runs through Friday. As for future projects, Stevens plans to explore the art of woodworking further.
“I do like sculpting wood and there’s some really beautiful pieces that I’ve seen where they carve the wood so that it looks like a crumpled piece of fabric,” she said.
In the meantime, Stevens is working with her husband, A.J., to remodel their house. The couple recently moved to the area from Seattle to raise a family.
“It’s been really nice to have a community. I feel like I actually know people here.”
Stevens is mother to Jackson, who is nearly two months old.
“I’m working on beefing up my inventory,” she says, “but he’s not a very good napper.”
Stevens’ work can be found at:
- Makers Market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30 at Spiral Rock Vineyard, 25844 Old Spiral Highway, No. 5893, Lewiston.
- Winter Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at the 1912 Center, 412 E. Third St., Moscow.
- On Instagram @scrapandsplinter.