|ABOUT THE ARTIST
- Jim Engelhardt
Born and raised in San Leandro, California, Jim subsequently
received his BS degree from BYU in 1971. After a five year
stint with the California Angels Baseball Club, Jim worked
as a police officer and fireman for the Sunnyvale Department
of Public Safety in California for nearly twenty-nine years
before retiring in Placerville, California.
Having no formal art training, Jim began his art career
by creating daVinci type airplanes and helicopters from
metal, then graduating to elaborate old western town wall
scenes, and mining town scenes on large pieces of driftwood.
During this same period, Jim began collecting a few architectural
items and a small amount of barn wood, which led him to
creating a display cabinet.
The cabinet caught the eyes
of a friend who commissioned him to make a small night
Having no idea what he would use for legs, he happened
upon some claw foot bathtub legs in the gold country town
of Murphy's California. The legs were a perfect touch
and the hunt was now on for further items.
The results inspired him to acquire copious amounts of
barn wood as well as architectural elements, and create
what you see today. Travels through hundreds of antique
stores, flea markets, salvage yards, and, yes, auto salvage
yards, on both coasts, Mexico, Canada, and New Zealand
have resulted in the acquisition of assorted finials,
pulls, locks, tins, cast iron elements, hinges, raised
door panels, and heater vents.
Combining the two elements has allowed
Jim to create truly one of a kind tables, wine cabinets,
display cases, and pedestals that won't be found anywhere
else. No piece can be duplicated due to the ravages of
weather, misuse over time, paint peeling, rust, or the
non-existence of an already used element.
architectural elements is an enjoyable task, but finding,
acquiring, and preparing the wood is an arduous one. It
has to be removed from the structure, in the heat of summer
or the cold of winter, while at the same time dealing
with dirt, nails, insects, and spider webs. The wood is
then de-nailed and its rotted portions are cut off. Once
home, it has to be fine cut, rechecked for nails, planed
on one side in most cases, cleared of dirt, then the splits
must be glued back together.
The design of each creation is usually dictated by the architectural
element he chooses, but may change as the work progresses.
Sometimes he has a design in mind, then chooses the element
that will most enhance the piece. Each creation is glued,
nailed, and biscuit jointed for strength. Pains are taken
to ensure that no rust, weathered paint, moss, or weathered
portions of wood are disturbed. At times, fresh cuts are
veneered from weathered strips retained during the salvage
process. Sharp edges are hammered to give the effect of
aging. Paint is applied to some fresh cuts when veneering
isn't practical. Old nails are applied to the face frame
(front) so as to give the appearance that the piece is secured
in that manner.
In the majority of cases original
architectural elements are used. In the event a reproduction
element is used, the item may be painted with a water based
paint then treated with muriatic acid to give an aged look.
Jim tries to recapture the past and in some ways retain
it through his work. His work allows him to relive the past
and hopes you can do the same. He feels it is a shame that
our rich history and architecture is being bulldozed under
for the sake of progress. Once the barns and other structures
that man created and nature enhanced are removed from the
landscape, they are gone forever, never to be duplicated.
Enjoy, and thank you for your interest.
2007 BEST IN SHOW - PARK
CITY - WOOD CATEGORY