Artist Directory > James Riedl

  • James Riedl
  • Member Since : 2015

Biography/Artist Statement

I have been building houses, furniture, cabinets and other products for the home for more than fifty years. Much of my furniture and cabinet making has been influenced by the simplicity of the designs developed by the Shakers. Doing custom work is very challenging and rewarding when I am able to turn someone’s ideas into a completed project. I have worked with many types of wood but I think I appreciate working with re-purposed wood most of all. You are not always sure what it will look like until you start to cut and sand in order to see how beautiful it can be. A perfect example of this was when I purchased some old Pine that was almost black. After it was cut to size and sanded and made into a harvest table did its real beauty emerge with a deep rich golden patina. My work with Kaleidoscopes started in my thirties when I bought my first scope. I was fascinated with the amazing image that appeared when I looked at it for the first time. I didn’t know how it worked but it was mesmerizing and relaxing at the same time. Since then Cindy and I have grown our collection to more than two hundred kaleidoscopes. They are everywhere in our house, even in the bathrooms. We started making kaleidoscopes when we participate in the annual Nellie Bly event in Jerome when we attended four classes where we made a Kaleidoscope in each class. As a result, we added eight more scopes to our collection. We have attended the annual event every year since. Currently we are creating kaleidoscopes of our own design. We primarily use wood, fiber clay, and stained glass. Two of our strangest designs include Cindy’s fiber clay Javalina and mine made from cocktail shakers. Almost anything can be made into a kaleidoscope if you just use your imagination! Kaleidoscopes are truly an art form where art and science come together to create amazing images that continually change.