Freese, Thomas

Jewelry -  jewelry crafted from wood (also stone, bone and antler)

I love making art from wood (actually I also work with stone, antler and bone). I started crafting wood pins, earrings and beads in the late 1980s when I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I often work with reclaimed woods, sometimes scraps from instrument makers or architectural salvage. I put a lot of good energy into each piece, as I sand it smooth then either wood burn or paint it. My designs include Celtic, Southwest and contemporary. Each step is explained in a how-to book I wrote titled Making Wood Jewelry Southwest Style, published by Schiffer Publishing.

I am a self-taught artist and craftsman, working in multiple media although currently listed in wood and jewelry categories. I am also a teaching artist. I do workshops and classes for both children and adults. I am a juried member on the Kentucky Arts Council Teaching Artist Roster, and am available for arts residencies in Kentucky and beyond. I love being an artist and it shows in my wood crafts, my books and my storytelling performances. I enjoy talking to students about wood art, bringing sample woods and my spoons and jewelry.
My jewelry designs are inspired by both Celtic art and by my 12 years in New Mexico. My wood crafts are smooth to the touch and much work is done in even the tiniest pieces. My wood beads take about three hours each to make, with beads handcrafted down from logs and complex Celtic interlaces wood burned and woven around the three dimensioned faces.

Since I have a Master's Degree in Art Therapy (LPCC, ATR-BC) I often like to do art classes with special populations. I believe in the therapeutic benefits of arts and crafts and I'm always looking for new art to do and teach.

My woods are poster children for rescued pieces that were once a part of a building, architectural salvage, or scraps from musical instrument makers. I help give the wood new life and I'm thrilled to have someone take home one of my wood spoons, handmade beads or pins. I've worked with over 40 different woods. Folks can see my jewelry on my website, although I don't have it updated with photos of spoons. Check on Amazon to see my book Making Wood Jewelry Southwest Style.

Artist Website