I make animated, intriguing, functional sculpture for people who enjoy both utility and artistry in the objects they live with. Furniture is interactive. We develop a bond with it. When a chair or cabinet leaves my studio, it takes on a new story with its owners through generations of use.
Since 1990 I’ve been crafting custom furniture. Thanks to an architect mother and a landscape architect father, I was exposed to materials and tools at a young age, as well as an appreciation of good design. My path to woodworking might have begun at age six when I built a raft, or later during a boat-building class with 83-year-old master builder John Gardner. But an apprenticeship with custom furniture maker Janis Colella taught me that furniture offered an appealing freedom of expression and variety.
I’m thankful to have enjoyed some recognition through a variety of awards and exhibitions, such as the John and Joyce Price Award of Excellence at the Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) Biennial 2014: Knock on Wood. This led to a 2016 solo show at BAM entitled Balance and Tension: The Furniture of Seth Rolland. You can find my work in art shows, galleries, museums and publications around the country, and I teach workshops annually.
When I’m not in my woodshop I’m usually out in nature—hiking, camping or sailing—where time stops and I find both tranquility and inspiration.
I choose beautiful, sustainably harvested woods for their color and grain. To guarantee the highest quality craftsmanship at every stage, I cut, join, carve, assemble and finish each piece by hand. To achieve some of my dramatic, fluid forms, I use processes such as steam bending, lamination, kerf cutting (making many slices in the wood) and vacuum forming.