Martha Collins

Biography

The first time I saw the Northwest I knew it would become my home. Lost Mountain on the Olympic Peninsula is where I have lived and done my life's work for over a quarter of a century.

After finishing graduate school in the early 1970’s, I envied friends who had a cabinet shop and were working with their hands. For a short time, I was a carpenter’s assistant and was eventually accepted in to the Michigan State Technical and Rehabilitation Institute in cabinetmaking. It was a wonderful experience with instruction every day from 8 am to 3 pm for over 2-1/2 years.

Upon graduation I was hired by the John Widdicomb Furniture Factory as a management trainee and went to work in their sample room. In 1978 I opened my own shop producing custom furniture and cabinets. During this same time I spent a great deal of time in a shop where wood jewelery was made. Here I learned the about exotic woods, laminating and dyeing. Inspired by these techniques, I began creating intricate artistic forms using thousands of pieces of different exotic and domestic woods.

In 1983, my family moved to the Northwest where I designed and built my own shop, studio and home. In addition to cabinets and furniture, I began producing a line of intricate wood bracelets which were sold in galleries throughout the West.

In 1995 I joined Admiral Marine Works making the interiors of wonderful large and very expensive yachts. For the last decade I have been teaching woodworking courses and participating in national art shows throughout the country. In addition to my own mountaintop studio, I am on the faculty of the Port Townsend School of Woodworking.

My passion is to create personal three-dimensional works of art with exotic hardwoods and brightly colored veneers that are hand dyed in my studio. Each piece is carefully constructed using the natural colors, grains and textures of the sustainable yield exotic and domestic hardwoods. This beauty is then captured and framed with a hand-dyed veneer. It is this combination, of the natural and the dyed, that sets my work apart and makes each piece one-of-a-kind.

Currently, my product lines include bracelets, ceremonial bowls, table sets and bottle stoppers. May you find exactly what you are looking for - - on the web or at one of my shows. I do accept commissions and custom projects, and will even create a unique work of art from your special piece of wood!