The art of imperfection
Wood always tells a story. You can see the sum of past events in how it looks. Its structure and colour reflect not only the age of wood, but every breakage of a branch, every disease, insect attack or change of weather. Knots, cracking, discoloration are not disadvantages, but traces of time.
You have to know how to notice them, and Maciej Gąsienica Giewont can do it particularly well.
His works combine the traditional woodturning technique with a minimalistic approach to the object. He translates wabi sabi philosophy into the Polish reality. The Japanese art of imperfection does not arise from nonchalance or rush. It expresses the spirit of Zen, which tries to free itself from all duality, including beauty and ugliness, ideal and imperfection. Maciej Giewont's works are not focused on achieving a one-off "wow" effect. They are intended for contemplation and please the eye for years to come. Instead of struggling with nature and enforcing his own vision of the object, the author enters into a dialogue with it. He often describes his works as collective. He uses only native wood species, obtained from sick or naturally fallen trees. In the bowls and objects made by Maciej Gąsienica Giewont, we will not find formal displays focused on the brilliant artistry. Moderate means of expression, limiting artistic interference to a minimum and simple shapes bring out the features inherent in the object. The lack of a thick layer of varnish that would protect the object against wear is a manifesto in favour of the natural aging of the object, accepting the passage of time and the fragility of the universe.
Maciej Gąsienica Giewont was raised in Zakopane, in a mountaineer family with carpentry traditions. Wood has always played a major role in his life. Growing up in the Tatry mountains, he was exposed to nature and the beauty of trees and timber. He is a trained carpenter and discovered his passion for woodturning in the 90s. In 2005, he was granted a scholarship for the "Tribute to Tony Boase” project and got a internship at Mike Scott’s studio in UK.
Since 2009, he has worked in his own one-man studio in Warsaw. Classified as fine contemporary craft, Giewont works are often presented at sustainable design exhibitions. You can find his pieces in many private collections throughout Europe and the USA.