OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Jack Ruszel

Viewing a sunset, I am grateful, not only for the colors or grandeur, but for my capacity to be moved by such a display. As humans, we respond to the magnificence of our world. Cultivated, this human ability can be a catalyst for our conversion from an all-consuming society to one of sustainability.

To me, this is what art is all about, improving our capacity to see, to understand.

My sculpting is very physical, requiring great energy and effort, however, the process allows my mind to move from the chaos of modern life – to a calmer focus. I experience awe as the form develops and becomes present. When I sculpt I am drawn in and fascinated, inspired by the play of light and shadow. My sculpting, my “work”, is a kind of play that is inquisitive and explorative. As I play, I surprise myself.

I work in ceramic, stone and other materials, yet I continually turn to wood. The life in a piece of wood becomes apparent as the sculpture progresses. Woods, like people, are imperfect. The imperfections can highlight, and help us to see the perfection.

Jack Ruszel, 2011

At the age of 16, Jack Ruszel began his professional career in his father’s garage, building wood products and screen printing. In 1979, he and his father formed the successful partnership, Ruszel Woodworks. Largely self-taught, both in business and art, Jack has developed an appreciation of life-long learning. He followed his dream of becoming a sculptor. In 1999, Jack began sculpting in earnest. He now tries to balance his business and art, his time at home, and in his studio, in Benicia, California.

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