Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Bois (cèdre) carbonisé
Neshka Krusche has a background in jewellery making and graphic design, but the cedar driftwood on BC's coast inspired her artistry on a much larger scale. “I went to the West Coast off Vancouver Island, and saw all this amazing cedar and fir lying on the beaches,” she remembers. The Alberta-based designer hauled the materials back to her studio outside of Calgary and got to work.
“I didn’t know what to expect from working with wood, and
I didn’t expect the thoughtfulness that goes into working with it," she says. The initial hurdle was getting the wood to adapt to the Calgarian climate, which was no easy feat. If it’s -20 or -25 degrees, the propane (used for charring the materials) completely liquifies. “Then I have to go and warm up myself and the propane and the wood,” she says.
“Wood is such a calm and forgiving and patient material.
I was interested in how the wood adapts, and how we can adapt,” Krusche says, "it was just a matter of finding the right time to do it." She always had sculpture in the back of her mind, even as a design student at Alberta University of the Arts.
“There’s no ‘one recipe’ — each piece is different.”
Creating sculptures is an instinctual process as well. “I hardly ever have to think, I just do it. That’s a different level of work. I probably sound new-age,” she chuckles. “I surprise myself.”
The response has also encapsulated the feeling each sculpture gives people with clients noting the ‘interesting presence’ in the pieces. “Someone called it ‘soulful minimalism.’ I thought it was a fun name for it, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with it myself,” Krusche says.Krusche is proud of what she calls the "blink of the moment impression" that people get from her work. She describes it
as the first feeling her clients get upon seeing her work, without having any background knowledge on what the pieces represent or where they come from.
By Mariah Klein in Western Living Magazine — Apr 21, 2021