The Pacific Northwest is well known for its spectacular mountains, rugged coastlines, and green and wet expanse. Capturing this beautiful landscape on wood is artist and designer Greg Klassen, who makes one-of-a-kind wooden furniture featuring rivers and lakes made from blue glass.
For the Pacific Northwest resident, Greg Klassen, the trees, the rivers and the fields, along with his family, provide a great source of inspiration. He “loves the idea of taking a discarded tree and giving it new life” in the form of wooden tables and wall art pieces.
The magnificent tables are designed to mimic bodies of water seen from an aerial view. The twisting blue glass typically represent rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Rather than carve these structures into the wood, instead these waterways are often defined by the wood pieces he selects.
Greg Klassen sources sustainably harvested slabs of wood from the banks of the Noonsack river. He specifically looks for pairs of slabs that pair well to mimic winding waterways.
These raw and jagged cuts of wood might have splits, scars and rot even. The varieties of timber used are mainly walnut and elm, as well as several other species of hardwood that grow locally to him in the Pacific Northwest.
When constructing a table, Greg Klassen embeds custom-cut blue glass over the natural void, resembling fresh water pathways that flow and wind through the centre of each piece.
The father of three says: “I create – I do not produce. I create because I love to. It’s so much fun and a pleasure to go to work. My pieces are handmade, in the truest sense of the word. I make one piece at a time and give it my full attention, starting with a tree and ending up with functional art. I love the idea of taking a discarded tree and giving in new life. I think the natural world is beautiful, and I love what I do.”
Greg Klassen studied woodworking in California and Sweden before beginning his trailblazing career creating small batch furniture and limited edition art in 2008. He began creating his River Collection pieces in 2011. Today, the range includes dining tables, coffee tables, side tables, desks and wall-hang artworks. He has also added a further collection, Archipelago, a new island shaped series.
All work, including tables and wall art, is exclusively crafted in Greg Klassen’s recently built, self-designed studio space in Washington State before shipping out to collectors around the world. The workshop sits adjacent to his young family’s century-old farmhouse surrounded by hand-harvested raspberry fields and mountain vistas.
Images: © Greg Klassen
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea