Sitting pretty: Whittle the Wood Stump 4’s Damon Gorecki sets his own benchmark
While some artists who join the effort of Whittle the Wood Rendezvous change up their works year after year, Damon Gorecki has carved out a specific niche in the festival.
Gorecki, a Salt Lake City resident, is by no means limited to one style, though the six-year competitor has become known as a specialist in creating wooden benches each year.
Stump 1 — Nate Hall — “Mountain Migraine”; Rams butting heads
Stump 2 — Matt Ounsworth — “20 for 20”; Animal totem (Second place)
Stump 3 — Jim Valentine — “Buckshot Bill”; Cowboy
Stump 4 — Damon Gorecki — “Wood Haven”; Bench
Stump 5 — Justine Park — “Home of the Brave”; Skull with feathered headdress
Stump 6 — Joe Srholez — “Xing Yun (Lucky)”; Dragon
Stump 7 — Chad Stratton — “Long Ago”; Wooly mammoth
Stump 8 — Bongo Love — “The Sweet Life”; Hummingbirds (Third place)
Stump 9 — Robert Lyon — “Horse of Course”; Horse
Stump 10 — Robert Waits — The Lorax”; The Lorax (Artist’s Choice)
Stump 11 — Fernando Dulnuan — “The Lion of Judah”; Angel with lion and lamb
Stump 12 — Ken Braun — “Blue”; Velociraptor (First place, People’s Choice, Artist’s Choice)
Though the majority of WTW stumps remain vertical, Gorecki’s has routinely become horizontal, and this year is no exception.
The piece “Wood Haven” is the latest in his line of works, which have included embellishments with faces and animal figures in years past, many of which have provided seating at locations around Craig.
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However, the newest carving saw Gorecki keep things streamlined in terms of artistry and emphasize the wooden nature with rounded and spiky traits alike.
“I thought it was more elegant than trying to go all extreme,” he said.
Most notably, besides the two posts and seat, the bench also features a roof.
“I figured that’d be a nice addition for some shade,” he said. “It’s functional, but it’s also art. It was fun to make.”
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