Jan Olewnik is a woodworker living and creating amidst the rolling hills of the Konza Prairie, Manhattan, Kansas. Jan is a veteran craftsman and living legacy in the Art of Woodworking.
“An authentic artisan must compose with pure passion, precision and, most of all, commitment. A truly great work of art requires attentive, almost obsessive dedication.”
When I work on any project, I get to feel the warmth of the wood. It is a remarkable feeling. The tree is a living thing that may have been around for 100 years or more. It is a great feeling to be able to work the wood into something that will last another 100 years.
When I start making a piece I start thinking about what wood I will use, then the idea starts to develop in my head, not on paper. I have to work with the wood as long as the process requires and know when to stop.
Patiance for detail and a strong vision for what the final product must look like helps to keep me focused on the quality I am after. I don’t work from drawings or diagrams and chances are good that I will change at least some details of the plan as I go along. It depends on the look and the feel of the piece as it is being developed.
Creation of these works is not akin to mass production. Mass production can downgrade the piece, the consumer and the maker. I have obtained great satisfaction out of my career.