Wood artist and sculptor Jim Sams, of London, will demonstrate his sculptural woodcarving techniques on Saturday, March 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

Sams carves and sculpts wood into realistic carved and painted renderings of everything from delicate wild orchids to hummingbirds, with a realism that is nothing short of extraordinary. His delicately carved woodland lady-slippers look almost translucent and his swallowtail butterflies and birds hover over the flowers or branches where they perch.

Sams is totally self-taught, and over the years, his work has evolved from traditional woodcarving to a style that is uniquely his own. Each piece represents hours of research, sketching and planning in addition to the actual carving and painting. His patience and artistic skill bring extraordinary results from the wood, and his carvings capture and freeze in time the fleeting beauty and movement of his subjects.

Sams has been fascinated with the intricate detailed patterns found in nature for most of his life. At the age of 5 he began drawing and painting, and as a young man explored other mediums, including clay and metal. But it was wood that seemed to best suit his ability to recreate the details of nature that inspired him. He has spent countless hours in the forest studying and sketching the various species of birds and wildflowers in his beloved Appalachian region.

Sams is a juried member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. His work can be found in numerous national and international collections as well as at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit, “The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea: Celebrating 10 Years,” is on display through Aug. 24. For information about the center’s events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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