Growing up in California in the early 1980s, George Peterson was inspired by his native state's iconic skateboard culture and evolving punk rock scene. Drawing on these early influences and the work of fellow sculptors like Andy Goldsworthy and David Nash, the artist behind Circle Factory uses traditional and non-traditional woodturning techniques to reveal the beauty and power of nature in his work.
To Peterson, the artistic process is as important as its result. Working with raw materials like discarded skateboards and locally harvested hardwoods, he balances their unique traits against his artistic vision, allowing the natural shape and form of the wood to inform his finished work. After hand-turning and distressing each piece, Peterson sets aside manmade tools and places his work at the mercy of the elements, exposing the wood to fire or water to achieve an element of spontaneity that the human hand cannot. A second round of carving and distressing ensues before pieces are polished, trimmed or joined and the work is resolved. Through this unique combination of deconstructing and rebuilding, Peterson molds organic shapes into modern works of art.
A full-time artist since 1992, Peterson lives and works in North Carolina. His ever-expanding Circle Factory collection includes hand-turned wood objects, sculpture and graphic art. His work has been featured in collections at the Boston Fine Arts Museum and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design.