Featured Woodworker, Dan Tilden

Dan Tilden is a gifted artisan who has developed a signature style to his work using a lathe and local woods from the Pacific Northwest. He typically turns the wood green and manipulates the drying process to create organic shapes and forms. The unique bowls and vases that Tilden creates require a lot of skill and patience, as the work needs to be extremely thin for the most interesting results. He uses features of the wood to build character in the work and let the wood speak for itself. He prefers burl as his raw material, "burl wood has more character than regular-grain wood, especially in Madrone, and it has a higher water content than maple or oak".

Dan remembers the day he met master woodworker and internationally renowned artist Christian Burchard, "he's taught me everything I know on the lathe" says Tilden, 25. "It has really helped to have such a great teacher." Burchard had received a grant to purchase a lathe and other equipment for the school Tilden was attending and taught a class on wood turning. Dan proved to have a natural feel for the work and soon apprenticed with Burchard.

"I like to do hollow vessels compared to bowls with big openings," I like the challenge, I do it by feel, by sound," Tilden explains. "I love to incorporate the natural features of the tree into my pieces," also, weight is important: When you pick up a piece, you can feel when it's light. You know it's hollow."

- from "Made in Pescadero"