With Eyes on the Planet, an L.A. Woodworker Turns Fallen Trees into Stunning Vessels
Julie Jackson, a woodworker based in Los Angeles, has a passion for turning fallen trees into beautiful vessels. With her love for soft and delicate designs, she crafts fine wood lamps, vases, and bowls in her workshop in the Fashion District.
The Journey to Becoming a Woodworker
As a child, Julie Jackson’s love for art was ignited through her grandfather, a carpenter, who would encourage and inspire her by building birdhouses and painting them together. However, when it came time to pursue higher education, she chose environmental science over art, unsure of how to pursue her passion. After graduating, she worked for a nonprofit recycling company, where she found inspiration for her future artwork.
Her longing to work with her hands led her to apprentice with her brother, a woodworker, in 2014. Jackson discovered her love for woodturning, the process of creating functional art by shaping wood on a lathe with turning chisels. Since then, she has honed her skills by watching YouTube videos and attending the American Association of Woodturners meetings.
From Bloomington, Indiana to California
After completing her apprenticeship, Jackson and her husband Jonathan Meador established Surcle Wood, a sustainable brand that creates custom furniture and accessories from recycled wood. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and put custom projects on hold, Jackson turned to woodturning to create smaller home decor items.
She discovered that woodturning gave her the freedom to work with a wide variety of reclaimed wood, allowing her to turn even the most weathered-looking logs into gorgeous vases and lamps. When she offered her lamps and vases on Etsy, her art started to gain a broad audience that expanded to Hong Kong and England. Her River Rock Lamp, turning wooden ovals on top of each other, was also a finalist in the Etsy Design Awards, which only further elevated her profile and reputation.
- Julie Jackson is one of the members of the Los Angeles Woodworkers Guild.
- Jackson’s first project was a birdhouse with her grandfather, and it remains her favorite.
- Surcle Wood is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the standard-bearer of responsible forest management.
Julie Jackson turned her love for art into a passion for woodturning, giving new life and purpose to fallen trees that might otherwise be discarded. Her unique style, with a keen eye for patterns in the wood’s grain, has made her sought after by clients across the world, and her dedication to sustainability and eco-friendliness sets a standard for artists that honors the planet.
Julie Jackson’s story is a testament to the power of pursuing one’s passion. Her journey from environmental science to woodturning has given birth to beautiful creations and a unique brand identity. As the world becomes increasingly concerned with protecting the planet, artists like Julie Jackson offer a refreshing way of looking at sustainability, with the ability to see the beauty in tree stumps and transformed them into works of art.