John Starinovich

Artists Open Studio Dates:

November 26, 27, 28 & December 4, 5

John Starinovich graduated from Michael Coffeys' School of Fine Woodworking in 1979. He has designed contemporary pieces of furniture and been in Fine Woodworking Biennial Design Book.  John's early work was featured in gallerys, exhibits, and newspapers in Vermont. A retired elevator technician, John Starinovich has recently been able to get back to his passion in woodworking.  His most recent medium combines his background in woodworking and his love of nature to create unique functional sculptures using tree holes. His tree holes are typically wall-mounted as mirrors or planters to bring the beauty of the natural world into our homes.  John is inspired to utilize other materials on his sculptures including metals, minerals, deer antlers, and other wood sculpture.  More recently John Starinovich showed his art at Converse Art Gallery, Slater Museum(Norwich, Ct 2018) Paradise City (Northhampton, Ma 2017)Glastonbury Art Show (2017 1st place craft)Mystic Museum of Art (2017) Converse Art Gallery, Slater Museum( Norwich,Ct 2017) Mystic Outdoor Art festival (2016) Artist open Studio ( 2015, 2016) Wood Works (2008 West Springfield MA), BIN 228 restaurant (2008 Hartford CT) and Arts of Tolland (2009 Tolland). 16th Annual Blanche Ames Juried National Art Exhibition, Honorable Mention (Easton, Ma 2019). West Hartford Art League Ceramic & Wood Exhibition(West Hartford, Ct 2019) When John is not watching his grandchildren you will find him in his home woodworking studio in Willington CT. 

Artist Statement:
I've been creative most of my life. Like many artists, I don't know why or where it comes from. Like others, I am inspired by Mother Nature. I'm influenced by the flowing lines seen in water, ice, erosion by the elements, and living processes. I'm impressed by the decay and healing process of trees to survive. Each piece leads to a new discovery or process.

I work with the tree holes Mother Nature provides using whimsical thoughts through objects like bone, antler, shells, metal, crystals and different woods and seed pods. The placement of these objects comes to me working with the tree hole. Mirror is a large element in my work. The reflection enhances the piece and adds functionality. Mirror patterns, cutting and recessing is a very tedious part. This is a difficult part of the process that is rewarding when completed. 1/8th” plywood is used as a back and picture wire for hanging. My workspace is a fully equipped woodworking shop. You can see my primary workspace by the worn area of the floor surrounded by traditional and power carving tools. There is an adjacent gallery displaying numerous pieces.

The process is grueling but driven by passion. It takes a lot for me to conclude a piece and arrive at a finished state. There's always that “just one more thing and I'll be done”. A friend once said to me, “I'm amazed at what you can do with a piece of rotten wood”.

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