STEVEN MONROE MARTIN
has never been able to get out of the woods. Whether it was spending summers growing up on his grandfather's southern Illinois farm or studying bryology and ethnobotany during his college years, the woods have always brought out the best in him.
After earning a B.S. and M.S. in Botany he chose to follow his heart back to his grandfather's farm and pursue his art. Since 1977 he has developed a bandsaw box technique to create his own style of sculptural yet functional boxes.
The band saw box technique Steven uses begins with a solid cross-
Steven has participated in many of the nation's best juried craft fairs and art exhibitions and has been recognized with many awards of excellence and merit awards.
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I would venture to think that many of us do not appreciate that all the objects in our lives made of wood where once alive. Kitchen utensils, picture frames, hardwood flooring, construction materials, wooden art objects, tables, chairs and of course my sculptural boxes all started out as a growing, living and reproducing organism. After 42 years and thousands of boxes I have come to realize that my most satisfying and successful pieces are the result of a process that begins with that understanding and a personal relationship with the actual tree that becomes the raw material for my boxes. Because I collect the logs that I work with, I know the environment each grew in before it was harvested or salvaged after a windstorm. While I work the wood, I think about the living plant the tree once was. Its shape and form, even the smell of the freshly cut wood, all influence the process. These sensory reminders of the tree and its personal story provide not only inspiration but purpose as I work the wood and remember the material that was once alive. When the conditions are right and the communication between myself and the tree is complete, the result is the rebirth of the wood into a work of beauty that moves and flows with new life.