Steve Ettlinger

I've always loved abstract modern sculpture, especially that of the great Constantin Brancusi, who is my inspiration and model.

I make many sketches that I later chose from and scale to the logs that I get, most of which are rescued from my forester neighbor's burn pile (in Maine). Some of the cedar logs I've used had bad spots that forced me to improvise a free form instead of following my detailed plans, so I have been learning about wood.  I have also used some cedar that I helped harvest near my Maine home, which has fewer flaws.

For my 65th birthday, I asked for only a chainsaw (and I got it....).  

I'm into rapid material removal, so I start with a chain saw and then move on to a grinder and Sawzall, ending with lots and lots of sanding and then some kind of finish, usually a version of tung oil.

The rougher, angular shapes are made from spruce logs while the smoothly finished pieces that feature beautiful grain are of Eastern White Cedar, all local to Deer Isle, Maine. Some smaller items were cut from old building beams in Brooklyn, New York.

I work primarily in my back yard in Stonington, Maine, on Deer Isle, but also in a cooperative woodworking shop in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, as well as a little bit in my basement.

Commissions are welcome, including on your own site (such as using a beloved old, standing dead tree, or a recently fallen one). Deliveries between Maine and Brooklyn are happily arranged and should involve celebratory meals.

As for some biographical notes, I have restored several very old houses and one old boat, hence the inclination to use tools. Prior to picking up the chainsaw, I wrote nine nonfiction books and produced dozens more. (Click here for info on my publishing career). I also have worked as a picture editor for GEO Magazine and as Assistant Bureau Chief for Magnum Photos, Paris.  Oh yes, and I helped manufacture industrial pot washing machines for a while, long ago, and in my off time I welded scrap metal pieces together.

I am a member of two artists' collectives for exhibitions:  

The Deer Isle Artists Association in Deer Isle, Maine  


Park Slope Windsor Terrace Artists in Brooklyn, New York.

I am very grateful to both groups.  

Steve Ettlinger


Instagram: @steveslogs

Display/studio: Stonington, Maine