In 1967, I was born here in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon and I have never left. For me, I could not imagine a more beautiful place to live. In all the years of living here I have always felt the urge to create. For most of my life there was never any real direction to my creative talents. I would try one thing then another. It wasn’t until one day someone very special in my life said “you need a hobby,” to this day I still really don’t know what that piece of Manzanita was doing laying in the yard, but I reached down and picked it up and replied, “O.K. I’m going to make something special out of this that is as beautiful as you are to me.” In the last ten years or so, that hobby has grown into a passion. Throughout all ups and downs of my life since that day, that passion for carving has still remained. In all the years of doing this, the one question I have heard the most is “How do you do that?” My usual reply is “I don’t know. It just happens.”
That’s not exactly true, but honestly I truly don’t understand it myself. I just know when someone asks me to make them something, or I see a certain piece of Manzanita, the little man in my head takes over and goes to work. I just sit back and watch. When I finally do start carving on the piece, I start finding things I did not see at first. The piece starts to change and grow, until one day there’s my final creation I can never exactly tell you what a piece will look like till its done. I can give you an idea though. In the same way my pieces change and grow, so has my creativity and passion for what I do. I can’t exactly say where its going to take me, but I sure can’t wait to see!
All of my carvings are done with a chain saw. Then I hand rasp, hand sand, and then once I’m satisfied, I finish them with Tung Oil. There are no stains or varnishes to create the color changes, that’s the natural beauty of Manzanita.
– Greg Sanders