After graduating from The Art School, Pratt Institute, I spent a number of years in the construction business where my art training allowed me to focus on the design of structures and furniture. From cabinet making and homebuilding I moved into publishing which gave my desire to create things the opportunity to blossom. Over the course of my journalism career, I have been associated with a number of major publishing houses in both the magazine and book publishing business, including Hearst, L.A.Times-Mirror, CBS Magazines, Prentice Hall and Grosset & Dunlop.
"North Fork Wine Country"
This sculpture was created from a burl provided by the client. The burl was from a favorite tree which was
downed by a nor’easter. Aware of the wood’s beauty, they commissioned me to create an original art form
Most in the magazine business move around quite a bit during the course of their careers; I was no different. My editorial positions ranged from Home and Shop Editor for Popular Mechanics to Workshop/Studio Director for Woman's Day, culminating with an appointment as Executive Editor for Mechanix Illustrated (now dba Today's Homeowner). I also authored several books for Prentice-Hall, Hearst Books and the Grosset and Dunlop Good Life Series.
Over the years I have also done consultant work for a number of major manufacturers, performing a variety of tasks from creating editorial packages to designing original furniture projects, shooting product photography and serving as radio and TV spokesperson. I have had the pleasure of working with such manufacturers as; 3M, Minwax, Skil-Bosch, Porter-Cable, Stanley Tools and UGL.
I first turned wood in 1969, while Home and Shop Editor for Popular Mechanics magazine. Those days turning items was done on an as-needed basis for use in a project and articles for the magazine. In the early nineties I decided to back off on the writing to became a full time woodturner. And, I have never looked back. Today, the hours speed by as the shavings fly from the lathe. Though I occasionally work with exotic woods, most of my work---both artforms and utilitarian --- is created from what turners call "Rescued Wood"; i.e.; trees which were downed by storm or sickness. My good friend Pete Dooley, who owns North Fork Tree and Lawn Service, keeps me well-supplied with all types of beautiful local wood including cherry, maple, tulipwood, Osage orange , red and white oaks, etc.
"Harry Wicks Studio"
This is the building where I create my work; it is located in the Hamlet of Cutchogue, NY. We put up this barn in 1996 in an architectural style which blends in with our country farmland surroundings. Our studio sign, out front, is appropriately nestled into a log which graphically emphasizes the kind of woods we work with.
My work has been influenced by master turners David Ellsworth, Alan Stirt and Phillip Moulthrop. My art training gives me a leaning toward the Bauhaus principle, "Less is More". As a result, I use a minimal amount of decorating on my pieces, doing so only when I feel its presence further enhances the wood's beauty.
My art philosophy is in agreement with the late wood turner, Ed Moulthrop, who said, "I don’t design beauty, I uncover it." So, if my vision uncovers the wood's inner beauty for you I will have succeeded. Thanks for visiting my website, come back often; and, please feel free to contact me with comments or questions.---Harry Wicks