If you’re a crab or a seagull on the Washington coast, there is one guy that has just become a part of the coastal scenery. His rugged figure just blends into the coastline. Blending in is helped by the fact that he’s usually lugging around a piece of drift wood that is commonplace on the inlet near Tokeland. His bent form under the weight of the wet wood perfectly mimics the shape of the gnarled piece he carries.
His shop is not your typical furniture shop. But that’s okay. His work is not your typical furniture and cabinets. Forms that come out of this shop look more grown than built, and there isn’t a square line on them.
“I guess, naturally, the lines I’m most familiar with show through my work. I love to create lines that are easy to look at, with balance and flow.”
It’s the history of the these forms that create a flow. One of Jeffro’s underlying talents is to participate in the creation of these compositions without getting in the way of its natural growth. It’s almost as if he is just one stage on the evolution of the slow, graceful formation.
“I appreciate the journey of each piece. What a privilege to be able to bring a little life back into them. Nature has the wildest lines, very inspiring to design. There’s an art in being able to use nature’s lines without the piece looking hindered by man.”
Talking to Jeffro is an education in breaking life down into its simplest elements. Most people see a withered log. You may even appreciate the rustic look of the wood. Jeffro, however, doesn’t see a log; he sees a set of lines. Each naturally etched crevasse rolls and dips to describe it’s organic potential. It’s Jeffro’s willingness to become part of those natural lines that make his work truly inspiring.
I asked Jeffro to dicuss some of his favorite work
“I spent over a year and a half collecting the right pieces for the Eagle, putting them aside until I thought I had enough natural shapes to pick from. I had good signs through this project: at the right time an eagle would fly over head while I was gathering material for it. One time, the plastic eagle from the top of a flag pole had washed up in the middle of nowhere to rest on some pieces that were used in the project. For the most part, it was made from cedar roots, and it has a wing span of 9 feet. Why did I build it? I felt I needed to. I wanted to see if I could capture the life and movement of an eagle with theses natural shapes. It still lives in my work shop. I figure the right place will come around when it is meant too.
The Archway would have to be one of my biggest projects. I put over six months into it, off and on, and I can’t count the amount of time put into gathering material. Built mainly from cedar roots and some fir roots. I think this project is where I turned a corner on my scribe fits, hundreds of them to make everything flow together.
The person that commissioned it was the best to build for. He knew I was capable of doing some nice work, so I got a free range to create. When I was finally finished, everyone was blown away! This one turned out to be off the charts.
You can checkout the rest of Jeffro Uitto’s work at