I select wood for beauty, figure, and the presence of natural voids in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement. To me, wood is like a painter’s canvas started by nature. The colors, grain, and figure are already there, as is the arrangement of natural voids. To accentuate these empty spaces, I inlay individual pieces of stone, shell, and native metal inside. I find patterns among the arrays of voids and create patterns within them, using the inlay materials like paints.
Jim Wright was born and raised in western Pennsylvania and has spent some time in Mississippi and Virginia. He now lives in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, where he works out of his home studio. Although his education is in the field of science—a BA in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech—he believes that he’s always been an artist at heart. Entirely self-taught, Jim developed and perfected his inlay techniques through trial and error. He sells his work primarily through juried art shows.