Jason Mast, Pacific Northwest wood turner
Growing up on the Oregon coast was a major influence for the shapes of Mast's smooth-flowing turnings.
Turnings with a coastal influence
The central Oregon coast where Jason H. Mast was born in 1986 has greatly influenced his artistry. The ever-shifting lines and shapes in the sand of the nearby beach reflect in the lines and shapes of Jason's turnings.
Growing up, Jason visited the beach frequently and would bring his shovel; he did not use it to build sand castles. Instead, he helped his father, Gareth; dig up buried maple and myrtlewood root burls. On sturgeon fishing trips on the Umpqua River, whenever the boat was taken to shore, Jason would look for driftwood treasures he could sell at his parents' shop, The Myrtlewood Gallery in Reedsport, Oregon. Wood identification was not a subject Jason learned in school; it was simply part of his childhood.
Jason was exposed to fine woodworking before he learned to walk. The family would sit around the living room table, critiquing Dad's latest wood turnings and suggesting future pieces. The concepts of line, proportion, smooth transitions, wood characteristics, color, and figure were part of many family discussions. Jason began turning wood at age 13 and was first recognized nationally by the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) in the 2007 Turning to the Future exhibit. Then as now, like the dunes blowing in the wind, like the waves cresting at the beach, and like the currents flowing in the river, Jason's shapes flow with a sense of nature's elegance. Jason works mainly with locally grown and native Pacific Northwest hardwoods. He chooses his turning stock from a huge assortment of select timbers. His father, Gareth is well known to the local loggers, and they bring him highly figured logs by the truckload. These logs are either chainsawed into turning stock or cut on a Wood Miser sawmill.