Artist Statement

When Denis H. Gauthier examines a piece of wood to create natural art, he steps, literally, into another world. This Northern Ontario wood turner now residing in Aylmer Quebec is always searching for that special look and feel which Northern Ontario hardwoods and the Outaouais area species have held secret for millions of years. 

The peace and isolation of his workshop in a rural Quebec town gives him the opportunity and tranquillity to invest long hours creating one-of-a-kind works of art. He specializes in maple, birch, oak, ash and cherry to produce not only stunning wooden bowls, but unique sculptures, from burls, roots and special treasures that only the quirkiness of nature can create. Each project has its own challenges but, with his touch, he reveals the masterpiece hidden within. 

Denis works only with hand-picked wood, carefully harvested because it has been shaped by disease, storms, or long life. He allows each piece to rest until the precise moment at which it can unlock its hidden secret, an art he has learned through experience with wood during all its phases.

"I do not decide what to do with the wood in my lathe; it tells me what it will be, by its grain, nuances, colours, feel and weight."

When this master's chisel begins its journey past the cambium layer, he travels back in time through wood.

"Each growth ring in the Northern Ontario wood with which I work carries the history of summers and winters that we have both shared. The seasons and forces of nature leave behind a wonderful swirl in the wood which, when finally revealed in my shop, intrigues not only the viewer's eyes, but his hands. Consider how each year in our common past captures successive beautiful layers of wood, each representing one year in all our lives. I feel privileged to reveal the inner secrets this wood that I cherish has to offer, in a hobby that has turned into my passion."

The harmony between his hands and mind provides the symphony that is barely audible when you examine his Northern Ontario art. Each well-turned bowl or wooden sculpture might be just right for that special celebration in life, a marriage or anniversary, or just because...

Come see Denis's work, feel it, and decide for yourself.