A collector of boxes, I have discovered that it’s more about the box, then what it will hold, that I really enjoy. But, whether you use these to hold a treasure, or just your love, this whimsical box will do the trick. Multiple layers of paint have been applied to the lid, and then lightly sanded, to reveal the texture and colors beneath. The interior bottoms are lined with a mix of vintage and new fabrics. As with all my work, they are given three coats of wipe-on poly and a coat of paste wax, making them smooth to the touch.
Born and raised in Western North Carolina, I helped my grandfather in his woodworking shop as a child, and learned traditional Southern handcrafts and painting from my grandmothers. Close ties to my family and a love of the mountains kept me in WNC even after earning a BFA and K-12 teaching licensure from UNC-Asheville. After working for a local craftsman for a number of years, I enrolled in the Professional Crafts Program at Haywood Community College, and began focusing solely on woodworking. While my art has gone through several transitions over the years, it has remained rooted in my relationship with my loved ones, so much so that I named my studio after my two grandmothers.
As a real home is built piece by piece, my work is created layer by layer out of wood and paint. The memories and happiness that stem from reflection upon my family and childhood, and that create a sense of home, are interpreted through color, texture, and pattern. These elements are layered with geometric shapes to convey a sense of depth and history, sometimes a likeness to an actual “home,” but most importantly, joy.
Finally finding a comfortable balance between backgrounds in mixed media printmaking, woodworking, and handcrafts, I have created a perspective and aesthetic that is colorful, whimsical, and my own. ~ Valerie Berlage