Ravenna Gardens: Where
did you grow up?
John Wehman: I was born and raised
in Ballard, Washington. Graduated from Ballard
High School and Western Washington University
– a true Northwesterner. I now reside
in Montlake neighborhood where I have my production workshop.
did you study or train?
JW: Most of what I
do is self-taught and having a natural talent for pursuing creative ideas. I ask questions and listen. My father, a talented work carver hobbyist,
was an inspiration to me in believing in myself to pursue me interests and
talents; to give something a try even if you don’t quite know what you’re
doing at first. After 30 years in video
communications production, I decided to seriously purse my other interest of
working with wood and I love it!
is the first thing that you made to sell?
JW: Wooden game boards back in the 1970’s. At that time, I did it to raise additional money for my wife and I to
travel. I never thought that 30 some
years later I would have my own full time outdoor furniture and garden art
is your design idol?
JW: I have a ton of
respect for all the artists I meet and work with at art shows throughout the
northwest.They’re a hardy and extremely
creative group. So many of them
encouraged me to keep pursuing my talent and to not give up.
do you find inspiration?
JW: I find ideas
from my interaction with my customers. They have an idea and ask me to make it; whether it’s a new color or a
new item. There’s always something new
RG: Any advice
for new, emerging artists?
JW: If you love
what you’re doing then don’t stop. Believe that if others are succeeding than why can’t you, too. Think, be organized, ask questions, find
something unique to make or do, and go for it! Start small, work hard and learn to enjoy long hours.