For over a decade, Artisan Works resident woodworker Ross Rider has masterfully engineered and carved sculptures that immortalize everyday objects. One of the most popular artists at the sprawling museum space, Rider’s sculptural tributes to American iconic objects such as a Zippo lighter, Polaroid Camera, and Harley Davidson Motorcycle compare the intricate architecture of the sculptural to the industrially manufactured.
Rider, a former Kodak employee, began woodworking as a hobby after years of inspiration in his Father’s shop, moving from cabinetry to sculpture during his residence at Artisan Works. His latest project, a Model A Ford, is still in progress. Situated at the “Highway Entrance” of the building, one can observe Mr. Rider diligently sanding and installing wooden nuts, bolts, and automotive parts on a daily basis. He has been working on it for over two years, and probably has two more to go before its completion.
The sculptural replica incorporates over nine different types of wood including maple, cherry, white oak, mahogany, and poplar. Most astonishing is that Rider does not use any computer drafting programs; he measures each individual part by hand, capturing the subtle nuances. The cumbersome fenders of the antique truck have proven themselves to be the most difficult aspect of replication. The stitching of the leather drop-top is painstakingly hand-carved, and the perfectly circular wooden steering wheel actually rotates.
Artisan Works and Ross Rider would like to invite the community to share in his creative process. With a projected opening in 2010, weekend guests can get an early appreciation of the internal organs of the Model A by observing the real truck next to its smoothly and sensuously carved replica. Mr. Rider presides over his work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and is available in his shop seven days a week.