2019 ACE Artist Spotlight: Will Wipperfurth, Lake Mills, WI

It was a childhood spent on a Wisconsin dairy farm that Will Wipperfurth credits for his artistic foundation. Watching his father and uncles plan and build their own projects revealed the power of foresight and hard work, and at a neighboring woodworker’s home, Will watched and learned the craft of woodworking. His first pieces were toys and treehouses, and he enjoyed the process every bit as much as the end products.

Will began his career creating cabinets and furniture. Now, he applies his creativity to smaller keepsake boxes. He begins by visualizing a design. He then draws to scale and chooses a complementary wood from several species of maple, walnut, wenge, and African rosewood, among others.

Wil works solo, from start to finish but he isn’t ever truly alone. The responses from people who interact with his work—exploring designs with their eyes and hands, sharing feedback about how the boxes could be used in their homes and offices—provide constant inspiration.

The pieces are an homage to both form and function. Will is meticulous about details that make his boxes special. Lift-out trays slide on top of adjustable and removable inserts. Stops prevent drawers from falling out. Heavy-duty hinges enable the openings to move greater than 90 degrees for easy use. Jewelry boxes are luxuriously lined in velveteen. No stains or dyes are used on the boxes; Will sands, oils, and buffs the wood so the full depth and dimensionality of color, character, and grain shine through.

Will is pleased to be part of an initiative that supports mental health. He believes it is an essential part of overall wellbeing and one that too often is underfunded.

Explore Will’s work here and plan to meet him and see his designs in person at the American Craft Exposition (ACE) September 20-22 at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Tickets to ACE 2019 are available here.

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