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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

Folsom Artist Andy Kurimay Passion in Woodworking

Dec 31, 2015 03:09PM ● Published by David Norby

Gallery: Wood work [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

Andy Kurimay first found his passion for woodworking while taking shop classes back in junior high. Years later, after retiring from his career as a building contractor and electrical design engineer, Kurimay returned to these artistic roots. Now—along with his wife of 50 years, Cheryl—the artist crafts gorgeous, one-of-a-kind wooden pens at his shop in historic Folsom. “I modify my pen-making machinery and finishing processes to create pens of quality and dependability for daily use,” says Kurimay. You can view the artist’s work at the Folsom Arts Association’s Unexpected Visions exhibit at the Gallery at 48 Natoma through January 7.     

HLB: What do you love about woodworking? 

AK: I love the hands-on nature of art, the creativity, the use of the equipment and materials. I look forward to taking a wood or acrylic blank, putting on my lathe and turning until it becomes a new pen. It’s amazing how the crude wood branch or a block of acrylic can be transformed into a beautiful writing instrument. It’s almost miraculous and unimaginable what beauty can lie within this raw material. I also enjoy the design process, along with the use of various types of woodworking machines.

HLB: Do you work with any other mediums? 

AK: I also work with local native woods, repurposed woods, and specialty acrylics and epoxy impregnated with wood, fabric, acrylic or colorful materials. My primary medium, however, is exotic hard woods and acrylics. The fascination with these materials comes from the fact that it’s very difficult to imagine what artistic pattern lies within the crude blocks of material. 

HLB: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

AK: Create pieces that you really love and will enjoy.  

HLB: What were you like as a young artist? 

AK: My interest in art [in my early teens] was limited to mechanical drawing and pencil sketching. Along with my budding interest in art, I was fascinated with machinery of all kinds. I believe this was the birth of my attraction to the use of woodworking machines for pen making.

HLB: Where do you get your inspiration? 

AK: I find a quiet location—away from all of my art supplies and equipment—turn on some classical music, then meditate and visualize how I will construct the next project (the types of materials, type of finish, the pen mechanism and plating, and other special features). Cheryl is blessed with many design skills and is our design consultant. 

HLB: If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

AK: I would be involved in baking and cooking, as I enjoy making various types of sourdough breads and creating break-fast specialties.

HLB: How do you regard the local community?

AK: We’ve lived in Folsom for the past 17 years and love the warmth of the people in the community, along with the beauty of the trails and nature areas, the Harris Center, the zoo, the educational facilities and the Gallery at 48 Natoma. It’s a special privilege to be able to share with people our location, along with the rich history and heritage.

HLB: Do you have a motto? 

AK: Keep it simple and share your Christian message.

by Heather L. Becker

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