“I look to the life in this material for guidance in finding both its function and its form, because a useful object serves more than just its purpose when it is art.” ~ Daniel Dunbar, Craftsman
Daniel and his family live off the grid on an 80-acre homestead in the woods of northern Wisconsin. It is here that he builds from the trees he knows. The story he finds in the lumber of these old-growth trees inform and inspire him to bring out the unique character of each board.
ONCE A TREE IS FELLED, either by storm or sickness, Dan slabs out the lumber, then stickers it out for air drying for three to five years. Once dry he stands them in his shop and, in the tradition of cabinet maker James Krenov, asks them what it is they want to be. In both his work and daily life, Dan is drawn to the patient tradition of hand tools, the harmony of glueless joinery, and the soulful approach of the Japanese.
DANIEL STUDIED FIGURE DRAWING and oil painting for three years as a Studio Arts major before completing his BFA degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. As a self-taught craftsman, his drawings and furniture designs continue to nurture and reflect his appreciation for form. Sculpture and carving plays an increasing role in Dan’s work.
Exhibitions & Awards (selected):
- American Craft Council Show, Saint Paul, MN, 2012, 2010, 2008-2005
- Invitational Award, Plaza Art Fair (Annual Juried Show) Kansas City, MO, 2011-2012
- Best in Wood, Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts, (Annual Juried Show) Oconomowoc, WI, 2011-2012
- Best in Wood, Marshfield Art Fair, (Annual Juried Show) New Horizon’s Gallery, Marshfield, WI, 2011
- Award of Excellence, College Hill Art Festival, (Annual Juried Show) Cedar Falls, IO, 2009-2010
- Cain Park Arts Festival, (Annual Juried Show) Cleveland HTS, OH, 2010
- Award of Excellence, American Craft Council, Saint Paul, MN, 2009
- Featured Artist, “The Home Show”, Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN 2008-2009
- Fine Furnishings Furniture Show, Milwaukee, WI, 2009
- Artist Invitational Award, Madison Art Fair on the Square, (Annual Juried Show) Madison, WI, 2008
- Highland Park Festival of Fine Craft, (Annual Juried Art Fair) Highland Park, IL, 2008
- Blue Sky Gallery, Show for Fine Woodworking, Minneapolis, MN 2006
- The Grand Hand Gallery, Saint Paul, MN
- Blue Sky Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
- American Craft Council
- Minnesota Craft Council
- Wisconsin Designer’s Craft Council
- BFA from University of Minnesota, Duluth 1989 – 1992
- 3 Years Studio Arts major, Augsburg College 1986-1988