Michael Mroz

New Life for DeadWood 

I create turned works of art, with a refined rustic elegance, giving deadwood an enduring new life. 


Trees that succumb to storm damage, disease, or expanding development are harvested for use in my work. 


My creative process starts with an interesting looking piece of wood and the wonder of what may be hidden inside.


A fascinating shape, a grain pattern or a defect all play a part in deciding how the wood will be manipulated. A bandsaw is used to rough out a shape and is then mounted on the lathe. 


A ghost image appears as the lathe begins to spin. These outer edges are cut away to reveal a possible solid shape. The axis maybe shifted to take advantage of visual clues, an interesting void, a defect or grain characteristic to enhance the completed piece. Defects maybe enhanced with colored resins or left alone if its integrity is solid. 


As more wood is carved away, new defects emerge. A design may change again, allowing new ideas to develop. Purely aesthetic pieces are finished with a seal coat of shellac and multiple coats of lacquer, creating a deep shine. Any piece that maybe subject to food is finished with a series of hand rubbed coats of food safe shellac for a shinier appearance or mineral oil and bee’s wax for a very flat finish. 



A successful piece will get your attention from across the room, as you draw near you cannot help but notice the subtle details. A tiny bead, a cove, a gallery cut by a hungry bug, a swirling grain pattern representing a familiar shape or is it the wood’s spirit connecting with you? 


Wood continually inspires me to create a body of work with a spiritual connection between the piece and observer. I am never content with the ordinary, always exploring new ideas and techniques, striving to develop a thought-provoking piece of art for a patron to value and enjoy for many years to come.   


Aspen Buffalo Vase
Birdhouse Ornament
Black Rim
Bridges 169P
Glyphic Aspen Vase
Dragon Eye
Pair Pine Bowls
Jeannie Lamp
Ring Bowl
Pewter Aspen Vase
Rustic Aspen Vase
Spirit Form
Sq Aspen Box
Touch Red
Walnut Knob Box