About

John David Caldwell has been professionally carving since 1994. His experience includes architectural ornamentation, antique restoration, sculpture, furniture embellishment as well as custom wood projects. With an engineering background, David combines the highest level of craftsmanship and detail, creating sculpture and decorative woodcarvings which meet the artistic sensibilities of our modern world.

Caldwell Carvings studio is located in Lawndale, NC at the base of the South Mountains. The peaceful surroundings inspire a love for the natural world and a desire to create.

 
 
Artist Statement

Caldwell Carvings studio is located in Lawndale, NC at the base of the South Mountains. In these peaceful surroundings, I live and work as a woodcarver and sculptor. I carve picture frames, furniture embellishments, pieces for antique restorations, architectural ornamentation, and sculpture in the round. My work is the union of a love for the natural world and a desire to create, and my connection with wood is the force that holds this together.

 

I have been developing my skills as a figurative carver with an ongoing series of “hand sculptures”. The first was a bowl carved for my sister’s wedding, incorporating the couples hands and feet. The series also includes a funerary urn, other bowls, and hands alone as the “vessel”. The human hand is a powerful tool of humanity, with which we all give and take, create, destroy, and affect our environment. Interaction of the hand with its surroundings, especially human contact, will be explored further in my work. As an artist, I also connect with the image of the hands as a symbol of the physical nature of my work. I use a mallet and gouge in most of the sculpting process. Figurative wood sculpture requires of the craftsman highly regulated workmanship in order to produce a decent representational form. At the same time, we are allowed free workmanship in the final shaping and surface treatment. It is this free workmanship which gives the piece of art diversity and expression. Evidence of the process is an important factor for me, thus I prefer a tooled finish to a sanded one. The tool marks give a real, tactile quality to the surface, as well as providing faceted highlights and shadows. Although some of my work has been painted, stained, and/or gilt, I enjoy the glow of a natural finish with only oil or wax applied. With its great variety of species, colors, and grain patterns, wood may have beautifully complex surfaces, giving to objects that are warm and durable, nice to look at and fantastic to touch.

 

I have attended carving classes at Penland School of Crafts; in the summer of 2006, and upon receiving the Grovewood Gallery Scholarship for summer 2007. From 2007 through 2011, I have had the great privilege of assisting sculptor Bob Trotman with his large scale figurative work. I have also taught woodcarving classes at the Cleveland County Arts Center and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

 

 
Résumé    click here for printable copy
John David Caldwell
540 Belwood-Lawndale Road
Lawndale, North Carolina 28090
704-538-5309
website: caldwellcarvings.com
email: david@caldwellcarvings.com
 

Exhibitions, Awards and Honors:

2013: “Speaking in Species” group exhibition, Greenhill Center, Greensboro, NC
Penland Annual Benefit Auction Contributor; Penland Gallery representation
2012: “Power and Grace” solo exhibition, Gardner Webb University, NC
2012: “Granted”, A showcase of the 1996-2011 Regional Artist Project Grantees,
Cleveland County Arts Council, Shelby, NC

2011: Piedmont Craftsmen’s Annual Fall Exhibition, Winston-Salem, NC
2010: Instructor Exhibition, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN
2010: “North to South” Group Exhibition, Green Rice Gallery, Charlotte, NC
2009: Solo Exhibition, Beet Gallery, Charlotte, NC
2009: Tryon Fine Arts Center, NC, “Sculpturama” juried exhibition
2009: Sister Cities Artist Exchange juried exhibition, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi
2009: North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant Recipient
2007: National Carousel Association’s Historic Carousel Award given to the Shelby City Park Carousel, my first large commission
2007: Grovewood Gallery Scholarship to Penland School of Crafts, Summer Session 2007
2007: Arts and Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Grant to Attend Creative Capital Professional Development Retreat, McColl Center for Visual Art
2007-2009: Group Exhibition, Beet Gallery, Charlotte, NC
2004, 2005: Group Exhibition, American Folk Gallery, Asheville, NC
2003-2008: Cleveland County Arts Council, Regional Artist’s Competition awards
2001, 2004: Cleveland County Arts Council “Wonders of Wood” Invitational Show
1998: North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant Recipient

Selected Commissions:

2013: Flame finials for St. Dominic’s, Washington, DC
Decorative carving for St. Mark’s, Philadelphia, PA; St. Ignatius (NYC)
Façade décor for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders, First Presbyterian, Oxford, MS
2012: Design and decorative carvings for a Tudor-style office, Denver, NC
Pierced acanthus panels for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders, Augusta Presbyterian, Augusta, GA.

2011: Carvings for restoration of 1880’s Pullman Palace Car, L&C Railway, permanent collection of the Hildene Museum
Carvings for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders new console, Southern Wesleyan University
2009: Carvings for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders new console, Campbell University
2007: Carvings for Tabernacle at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA
2006: Carvings for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders new line of “Teacart Organs”
Carvings for Columbarium, St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, Newport, Rhode Island
2005: Carvings for Schoenstein Organ Builders, antiphonal addition, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, K Street, Washington, D.C.
Carvings for Music Desk, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta, Georgia

 

John David Caldwell

2004: Carvings for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders new pipe organ, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Westfield, New Jersey
Funerary Urn for First United Methodist Church, Shelby, North Carolina
2003: Carvings for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders new pipe organ, Christ Episcopal Church, Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
Carvings for Music Desk, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, New York, New York
Carvings for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders console, Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina
2002: Shepherd’s Cross for First Baptist Church, Boiling Springs, North Carolina
2001: Carvings for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders Grande Choeur Addition, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1996, 1997: Three new horses for Shelby City Park Carrousel, Shelby, North Carolina

Education and Experience:

2014: Instructor (scheduled), Woodcarving Workshop, Arrowmont School, Gatlinburg, TN
2013: Visiting Artist: USC Beaufort
Instructor “Woodcarving for Architecture and Furniture”, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC
                  2013-14 Regional Artist Grant Panelist, Arts and Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg
2012: Visiting Artist: Gardner Webb University

2010: Instructor, Woodcarving Workshop, Arrowmont School, Gatlinburg, TN
2010: 2011 Regional Artist Project Grant Panelist, Arts and Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg
2007-11: Studio Assistant/Master Carver for Bob Trotman Studio, assisting with large scale figurative projects
2008: New studio construction, Caldwell Carvings Studios
2007: Attended, through the Grovewood Scholarship, Figurative Wood Sculpture class, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC
2007: Instructor of two classes: “Woodcarving – An Introduction”, Cleveland County Arts Council, North Carolina
2006: Attended Howard Werner’s Wood Carving class, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina
2001-Present: Self employed wood carver, Caldwell Carvings, Lawndale, North Carolina
1994-2000: Contract work for Shelby City Park Carousel Restoration Project, Shelby, North Carolina, including the carving of three new horses.
1987: Bachelor of Science; Ceramic Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Bibliography:
2013:  Greenhill, Speaking in Species artist interview

2009, Fall Issue, Foothills Spotlight Magazine feature article “Touching Nature”
2009, Oct.29-Nov. 5 ArtSync Magazine Featured Artist
1998, Oct.16, “Three From Scratch”, The Shelby Star