Matthew Schulz, A Woodworker's Evolution
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Wood Magazine

Matthew Schulz, A Woodworker's Evolution

Matt Schulz is a relative newcomer to woodworking, but has been exposed to quality craftsmanship his whole life.

Matt carries on his grandfather's skills

Matt carries on his grandfather's skills

Matt Schulz is a relative newcomer to woodworking, but has been exposed to quality craftsmanship his whole life. He explains, "My grandfather, a self taught carpenter and cabinetmaker, built practical pieces made of domestic hardwoods. His home, and that of my parents, is full of fine examples of simple furniture made with enduring details."

While attending Northeastern Illinois University he discovered an underused woodshop adjacent to one of the sculpture studios. A lack of instructor knowledge led to frequent calls home and trial by error familiarization of the equipment. From this exposure he began building basic pieces of craftsmanship.

Matt's work expanded in order to incorporate a personal tone and artistic sensibility. A lumberyard that carried exotic hardwoods from all over the world in exquisite tones of purple, red, orange and black helped to continue this progression. He was able to showcase these unusual colors in furniture, while letting the quality of the material speak for itself. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style, many pieces featured clean lines, added inlay detail and traditional joinery.


 

A master of numerous woodworking practices

A master of numerous woodworking practices

A wide variety of work from turned bowls to jewelry boxes are incorporated into Matt's work, and include different styles and materials. Currently, these works exhibit a preference for softened edges that follow the character of the wood grain. Furniture pieces include a build in three-sided desk, barrister bookcase and Morris chairs. On average, two or three large pieces are commissioned each year.

Recently, Matt was asked to participate in a local benefit for Special Methods In Learning Equine Skills, known as SMILES. For his part, Matt was supplied with a life size fiberglass carousel horse to customize using a medium of choice. The creation, Knock on Wood, was covered in small wood pieces ranging from 3/8" to 1/2" thick. Wenge, purple heart, honduras mahogany, canary, bubinga, maple, black walnut, red oak, yellow heart and bloodwood were all incorporated into the piece. The process took over 400 hours and included over seven thousand individual pieces. The result was a mosaic of wood grains and color variations that appeared from a distance as a horse in motion. Knock on Wood was voted Grand Champion in the full size category by a panel of judges and won the People's Choice Award.

Matthew Schulz
Genoa City, WI


 

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Wood Magazine