About the artist
Sincerely enamored with nature, Wendy Lichtensteiger has been documenting its offerings since her childhood on Erskine Lake, NJ. By direct observation and through photographs, sketches, and natural found objects, Wendy has developed a deep respect for the mysterious wonders of plants and animals and the integrated relationship they maintain.
She navigates this respect and her devoted passion for producing and making by "reclaiming what is thought to be waste". Wendy creates her carvings with over 100 year old Wormy Chestnut, a once abundant tree that disappeared from the American landscape due to a 1920's blight. An appropriate material that in turns pays homage to the aviary creatures that once inhabited and perched in them.
Staining the carvings rather than painting them reveals the beauty of the woods historic characteristics and natural "feathery" grain. The cracks, checks and wormholes testify to the symbiotic relationship of nature and time. Often a favorite piece of driftwood or a found branch, which Lichtensteiger considers works of art in their own right, serves as a base for her woodcarvings.
After studying Studio Art at Arizona State University and moving back to the east coast to help open the Wooden Feather Folk Art Gallery, Wendy underwent a 5 year apprenticeship with her father Lance, himself a woodcarver of over 35 years. Having honed her woodcarving skills on the Jersey shore, she has built a woodshop of her own in the wooded mountains of Vermont.
In 2012, a friend and fellow carver Wick Ahrens called upon Wendy to assist him with his carving as his health began to fail. Wick is a renowned whale sculptor and the proprietor of The Whales in Vermont Gallery in Weston Vermont. With 12 years of carving under her belt, Wendy quickly stepped up and aided Wick in the creation of his wall plaques and his one of a kind museum pieces. Now in 2015, Wendy has taken over his whale plaque carvings, as Wick has officially retired to the Gill Home of Ludlow VT.