Four Leaf Wood Shop is a local Ojai, Ca. gem for us. Jack Gerard and Genevieve Barrere moved to Ojai in 2015 and decided they needed to take a shot at woodworking. Both having a talent for creating objects, and being driven by doing so, wood carving was a good match for these talented set of hands.
We are thrilled to be carrying such a beautiful line of kitchen utensils and are proud of the work they do. They add joy into small moments of life, such as cooking & stirring a pot of soup with a hand carved a spoon.
We invite you to read on to get to know a little more about what their ideas are about art and what inspires them to make.
Why do you do what you do?
I have always loved creating and making things. I went to art school out of high school and was really frustrated with the lack of control I had with my art so when I finished school I decided that I needed to do something that made me happy with creating every day and carving wooden wares just seemed to fit the bill!
Where does your creativity come from?
Well like I said I have always created and my parents are also very creative. My mom is a weaver and sewer and always included my brothers and I in her craft and my dad is a painter and sculpture and I would spend hours watching him paint in our garage as a kid. I guess being exposed to art all of my life really drove me to want to create and be an artist. They always allowed us to do whatever we wanted growing up so that really helped to spur my creative freedom.
Can you describe the moment or time when you knew that creating objects was what you wanted to do? How did your passion come to be?
I grew up surrounded by art so I was always being inspired by art and creative things around me. I can clearly remember seeing a Van Gogh exhibit when I was about 9 or 10 years old and thinking how amazing his work is and turning to my dad and saying I want to do that. That day we went to the art store and I got my first paint brushes and paint. I've kind of been creating things ever since. Spoons just felt like a great progression for me. I wanted to keep creating but I wanted to make something that people could use and appreciate every day like I appreciate Van Gogh.
What’s your favorite artwork?
My favorite artwork is definitely painting and mostly Van Gogh and Dali. I have always wanted to explore some crazy Dali esc shapes in my work!
What kind of routines or rituals do you have?
I'm all about routines. Every day I get to work I have to drink my cup of coffee and check my emails. Then I have to carve for about an hour and take a break after that. It's a serious routine I literally do the same thing every morning. But that's about it. Then my days are pretty different depending on what I am doing.
What’s your favorite thing that you created?
Honestly, I recently made a set of spoons about a week ago with a cool textured handle design that I am absolutely in love with! Every time I finish a new piece I stare at it and think wow I made this from a piece of wood! It's a great feeling.
What do you try to communicate through your art?
I've always loved the creative process and I think that most of my pieces reflect my personality. I want things to be fun and beautiful. I want my pieces to look amazing and feel even better to use but I'm not really trying to convey a certain meaning.
What role, in general, do you think artists play in society? What are your thoughts on being an artist in today's world?
If you really think about it everything around us is created by an artist. Artist create homes and cars and the advertising that sell these things to us! Everyone is an artist in their own right and without artists, life would be full and gray. People naturally want things to be beautiful and artist help convey that meaning.
Being an artist in today's world is a little tricky. Everything is about mass production and selling so being an artist is really hard when you are trying to make it your living. Art is about self-expression so it's hard to balance that line between self-worth and consumption.
Is there a creative medium you would like to pursue but have not yet tried?
Definitely writing. I've always loved comedy and I'd love to give writing some comedy a try. I know it doesn't sound much like art but again it's about self-expression and that is the basis of all art.
Do you have any advice on how to be more creative? OR overcoming creative blocks?
Do what you love! If you love it there are bound to be people out there that love it as much as you.
Creative blocks are hard to get through but the best way to get through them is to switch it up and try something new or unusual. That always gets me through my ruts.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don't be afraid to just go for it! Life is short so you should just do exactly what you want!
|Shop Jack & Genevieve's hand carved kitchen tools below|
photos by four leaf wood shop & product photos by girl & the abode