Let’s Get To Woodwork

Every piece of functional resin art Scott West creates is unique.

Scott West’s resin woodwork journey started when a huge cherry branch fell in his backyard. After grabbing his chainsaw, he wondered what to do with the leftover chunks of wood.

Sometimes, it gets messy in Scott West’s backyard workshop in Newburgh, Indiana, when he brings his woodwork to life — often with rocks, flowers, and moss included in the final result. He prefers the result to look natural, yet unexpected, and he never makes the same piece twice.

“I methodically thought through the process before I did it,” he says.

He ended up making resin wood furniture for his two daughters. In 2019, after retiring as managing partner of Bonefish Grill, he began creating resin woodwork to sell at markets and art festivals like Haynie’s Corner First Fridays and Funk in the City. West describes his work with the phrase “beautiful materials, simple tools, lots of care.”

Still, resin woodwork is labor intensive and messy; depending on the project, it can take weeks to complete in his backyard workshop. The process involves cutting, shaping, and sanding the wood. He prefers natural oils as sealers and finishes. West also fixes any damage, including rot, and, if necessary, stabilizes the wood with epoxy so it does not break or decay.

 

Making his own molds, he then combines two or more pieces with different-colored epoxy, creating unique designs. He also adds rocks, leaves, moss, and flowers to his creations. What each project becomes depends on how he imagines it coming together, though he does custom work as well, often small tables, trays, coasters, and the occasional lamp stand.

“I create something based on what the wood tells me it needs to be, and hope someone wants to buy it,” West says. “I like the satisfaction of completing a project.”

He works with oak, maple, and cherry. Walnut is his favorite. He often finds wood in the backyard and driftwood from the Ohio River, occasionally buying his own.

“Let me show you what can be done with this,” he often says to friends or neighbors about to throw out a perfectly good piece of wood. “You can take a gnarly piece of walnut, work on it, and it reveals a beauty hiding in plain sight.”

KNOCK ON WOOD

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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