ASHLEY JOSEPH MARTIN
Based in Philadelphia, woodworker and artist Ashley Joseph Martin crafts contemporary home goods like vessels, lighting, and sculptural objects. His unique process utilizes a combination of modern woodworking and traditional hand carving, creating subtle textures that imbue a distinct handmade quality within each piece. Integrating sculpture and function, his designs invoke both natural and architectural forms.
Martin's boyhood in the Pennsylvania countryside fostered a connection with nature and an intimacy with the medium of his craft. In his Philadelphia studio, he fashions vessels deeply connected to the natural environment: smooth bleached maple reminiscent of river rocks and grooved walnut bulbs with the moodiness and mystery of a buried decaying branch. But his designs' soaring necks, thin handles, and intricate chiseled patterns are products of sophisticated craft. Martin's sketches channel the architectural influence of a built environment, and his creations are only possible due to his command of his medium. "I have to understand the peccadillos of the particular species [of wood], how grain orientation helps or hinders the carving process, and what the finish will do to the tone." Like their maker himself, Martin's works are beautiful balancing acts of raw groundedness and refined artistry.