Bio: Ziegler, Wendell - Festival of Arts Display (Apr 2015)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Ziegler

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 4/15/2015

Neillsville Artist to Display Works at the Festival of Arts (Woodworking – 2015)

Neillsville Artist to Display Works at the Festival of Arts

Wendell Ziegler of Neillsville has turned his woodworking hobby into a passion. He says many things can be done with a given piece of wood. Contributed photos

Wendell Ziegler, and accomplished woodworking artist from Neillsville, joins the 43rd annual
Festival of the Arts (Festival) at the UW-Stevens Point Noel Fine Art Center Sunday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is Free.

The Festival opens the spring “season of art” in quality art forms in a myriad of mediums. Presented by 45 Midwest professional artists from Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota,, the Festival is an opportunity to talk with the artists, learn about their work and purchase that unique, one-of-a-kind treasure.

Having been introduced to the lathe while in high school, Ziegler started turning wood in earnest just a few years ago.

“Turning wood started as a hobby and is now a passion,” Ziegler said. “It fascinates me. I totally enjoy it. So many things can be done with a given piece of wood. I try to keep the prettiest part of the wood to remain in the form rather in a pile of shavings on the floor.”

From the wood as he finds it comes beautiful things. Ziegler turns from many species of wood, many of which are exotic foreign woods. But the domestic species are often as pretty as the foreign, and more affordable.

“Every piece is different,” Ziegler said. Often, what you find inside is just amazing. The prettiest wood is usually around knots or just below a crotch. Burls, those ugly lumps on the side of a tree, are the most sought after.”

Ziegler prides himself in being creative and exploring new designs and functions.

“If I think of it, I try it,” he said. “If it does not turn out, I try something else. Sometimes a very ordinary piece of wood becomes a piece of art. That’s the joy of it!”

After Ziegler retired, he purchased a small mini lathe, then moved up to a midi lathe, and then again to a larger lathe. Now, he says he’s finally got one that satisfies him.

“The most expensive tool in your shop is the one that you buy more than once,” Ziegler noted.

He works in a modest “studio” workshop at his home. He’s a busy guy in that workshop; he shows his wood art at art fairs and festivals around the state, and this year, he’ll be traveling to 18 events. That’s a lot of wood, a huge pile of shavings and some really beautiful pieces of artwork.

The Festival is sponsored by the Stevens Point Festival of the Arts Council and the UW-Stevens Point College of Fine Arts and Communication. Plan a day of art appreciation and enjoyment.

Wendell Ziegler took a very ordinary piece of wood and turned it into this rich finished bowl.




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