Artist Profile

Embry McKee, creator of hardwood designs of family crests, corporate logos, college and university logos, sports insignia, heraldry, etc.

My first set of carving tools found me in Japan over twenty years ago, and since then I have worked with wood in many ways.  After making a crest for a local high school in 2006, I realized that I had stumbled into a rather unique artistic niche.  Most artists that work with wood carve or construct each piece from single species; most woodworkers focus more on producing functional pieces.  I found that by using as my palette the colors provided by nature in the multitudinous varieties of wood, I could create singular works that breathe life into two-dimensional designs.

Wood has a life of its own, and to work with it is to collaborate with it.  Every piece of wood has its own personality:  grain, knots, color, density, texture.  Long before my work on a project reaches the shop, I spend time searching through lumberyards auditioning, as it were, the pieces that will comprise a finished work.  Just as a movie or a play can be made or broken by the choice of actors, selection of wood is an art in itself.  But just as with people, when you begin working with it, what lies under the surface can still surprise you.  

Signature of Embry McKee, creator of hardwood designs of family crests, corporate logos, college and university logos, sports insignia, heraldry, etc.

The tools of the painter are brushes, paint, and canvas, his object the human form, the scene in nature, the abstract concept.  The tools of the sculptor are chisel and mallet, with which he endeavors to render accurately in stone that which he sees before him.  My tools are chisels and gouges, planes and rifflers, my object to flesh out in a natural medium that which before has been seen only  lifeless and flat on a page or a wall. 

My pieces are made by hand from raw timber.  The woods in my pieces are as nature made them; the colors are unaltered.  I do not use dyes, paints, or washes of any kind.  My works are created from the highest quality materials, and are meant to last many lifetimes.  My intent, and my hope, is that whatever I make for you will be passed down and enjoyed for many generations.