Kenneth Forte on being a hardwood artist

I started collecting old growth hardwoods over 40 years ago.  This practice has ended since very few old growth trees still exist.  On business trips, I’d forgo the social portions of company trips to search, with Magyar guides, for exotic hardwoods.  Once I found myself waiting three hours up a tree waiting for water buffaloes to leave.  I also endured the odor of lowland zebra, not to mention the heat, humidity, and freaks of the Amazon – and those from Sherwood Forest, requiring James Bond-like tactics.
Getting the hardwood finds back home without destruction that could be caused by customs was always a challenge.  Then, communing with the hardwoods to determine what their next form would be.  Spending time, travel, and study to learn ancient techniques for finishing and drying my collection of hardwoods.

After completing whatever form was selected, I had to wrestle with myself to let it out of my sight, much less allow others to own it.

All the above exists today.  I do not copy the works of others.  Woodworkers copy; artists do not.  Every piece I create is an original.