Mark Zeh: Relationship with Wood

Mark Zeh: Relationship with Wood

My name is Mark Zeh. I am from New Jersey, where I was both a Telecommunications Engineer as well as a furniture designer and furniture maker.  Today, I am a full time designer and maker.  My work encompasses everything from built in custom interiors to small carved objects and everything I can manage in between.  I am currently completing my MFA in furniture design at the School of American Crafts (SAC) at Rochester Institute of Technology.  Following this achievement I will continue to design and create exciting pieces.

Mark Zeh, Curved Leg Stool
Curved Leg Stool
Mark Zeh, Curved Leg Stool detail
Mark Zeh, Curved Leg Stool detail

Though I do occasionally work with other materials I primarily work with wood.  I find wood has the ability to portray many of my ideas in a most desirable way.  Though it is hard, it has a suppleness and softness of character that I look to celebrate in the final piece.  I want the wood to have a role not only as the material of the piece but also in telling its part of the story.

Mark Zeh, Reliquary
Mark Zeh, Reliquary
Mark Zeh, Reliquary detail
Mark Zeh, Reliquary detail

Along with investigating and building my thesis work I am interested in exploring shaping wood to give it the look of movement, and fluidity, as well as a certain relationship with gravity.  I do this through carving the shapes and joining in certain ways to show continuity of grain.  I also look to achieve this through steaming, bending, or laminating many thin layers to form a continuous shape that cannot be done as easily with solid wood.   I love to expose woods shy soft flexible inner self.

Mark Zeh, Pillow
Mark Zeh, Pillow

Mark Zeh’s “Pillow” is part of Main Street Arts’ national juried exhibition, Small Works. Hard to believe that soft, fluffy pillow is made of wood!

Stop by to see his piece in person through December 29, 2014. 

Read the previous Inside the Artist’s Studio post, by painter Trina May Smith.

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