The journey of Richard Weigand from child to artist, craftsman, and entrepreneur, has been shaped by exposure to art and artists, by the long practice of skills, and by self-examination. It has culminated in his current work with wood.
His early life and formal education in the Great Northern Plains states of Minnesota and North Dakota instilled in Richard a dedication to honesty, an understanding of structure and mechanical function, and a visceral appreciation for nature and natural materials. He also absorbed the sensibilities of those whose art surrounded him while he worked in the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead, MN, as well as those of his early mentor, James O’Rourke.
Later stages in Richard’s journey include working as a two-dimensional artist, drawing and painting; and as a potter and ceramic sculptor. He has traveled around the world to assist others by counseling and facilitating their journeys, and has worked with wood in furniture construction, turning, and in architecture.
Richard says, “As an artist, you have to produce and produce and produce. I keep improving my skills, keep learning, and within that range of production I have made pieces I like and some pieces I like better than others. It is sort of a chase after perfection.”
“The continuing challenge,” he says, “is the craftsmanship. Art is an on-going exploration, a journey towards beauty, and getting there through skill.”
From these experiences Richard has won mastery and understanding. “Somewhere along the line I learned… you can live with beauty. What’s beautiful to me is beautiful to me; what’s beautiful to you is beautiful to you. There’s no right or wrong to that.” Richard has discovered that one component of beauty is “hands, the work of hands in an act of creation, the impact of hands on a made thing.”
“Put your hands to work on a thing and care, care about every aspect as you shape it and make it. That’s important.”
These steps have led Richard to where he is now: in the mountains, surrounded by farms and forests, ready to use what he’s won to bridge the gaps between life and art for his customers. He uses locally grown and harvested wood and “live edge” wood slabs to produce bespoke items for clients. Lately he’s been working on salvaged wood and barn wood industrial office furniture pieces for a client in Maryland while readying himself for the next foray in the open frontier of growth, in another stage of his journey.