The Island Gallery
christain burchard

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Christian Burchard has been living in the United States since 1978. Building on a foundation laid by a furniture makers apprenticeship in Germany in the middle seventies, he studied sculpture and drawing first at the Museum School in Boston and then at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C. He has been living in Oregon since 1982. His early focus was on furniture and interiors, but gradually shifted to woodturning and sculpture, moving between vessel oriented forms and pure sculpture. Christian generally prefers works in series, usually developing more than one at a time, while exploring the connections between them and using these as bridges to new work.

In an article from Craft Arts International, the author notes that Burchard’s understanding of material and process has allowed him to accomplish much more without constantly imposing his will on the material, but rather trusting it to have a voice that is strong enough not to require excessive artistic input. For example, his wall pieces, “like elements from a halcyon landscape, offer fragments of memory and imagination that challenge the viewer. Taken as representation, they suggest worn pages, left out in the rain and sun to fade and distort. Perhaps they were love letters, or pages from a journal.” Burchard “has taken the vernacular of modern art and incorporated the utilitarian form and language of craft to create bold new work…In embracing this spirit while cutting into wood and exploring three dimensions, Burchard creates work with a transformative quality that steers clear of convention.”

Christian’s work is exhibited widely throughout the U.S. and he has been included in most of the major turning related exhibits of the last ten years. His pieces are part of many public and private collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Art & Design in New York, the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, the LA County Museum, the Bellevue Art Museum, and the Museum for Contemporary Art in Honolulu. He is also sought after as a teacher at craft school and conferences and related turning events.

Working as a craftsman/artist helped me find a place in the world – a way to connect, to realize that I have something valuable to offer, to touch others through the spirit in the work.