Ken Ferris stripping a log


1. How did you get started as an artisan?

I’ve been drawing and painting as long as I remember. My father is an artist and we were always surrounded by artist, writers, antique dealers and other riff raff. :^)  I got my first commercial job at 13 doing ads for a national convenience food mart.

2. What was the first woodworking project you built?

The first carving I ever did was of one of the characters I was drawing for an underground paper in a southern metropolis at 16. I gave the character to my father and as he’s getting on in years he gave it back. So I still have the very first.

3. What do you love about what you do?

I love designing,creating, carving, staining or painting the final pieces. I HATE sanding!!  I love the look of the faces of the clients when they see the finished projects. EVERYTHING!

4. What are your favorite types of projects to work on? 

My favorite projects are LARGE projects. I LOVE doing entire homes carving entries, furniture, walls, ceilings, garage doors inside and out.  Although recently I carved an 8 foot mantle only 4 inches high with an entire lake scene. The scene was of the view looking out the clients window. So at 4 inches total the scene was of 3 inch trees, mountains and forest wrapping around the corners of the piece into the wall.

5. What do you love to do when you’re not carving?

What do you mean when I’m not carving? Sleep I guess. I only sleep a couple of hrs. at a time so…. I never seem to be able to get away from my “work” I’m always thinking of the next project 4 years down the road. But I do love it. I love spending time with my 3 sons and girlfriend.

6. What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

Probably a lot!  My life has been very different from most peoples… from being in the Carnival business, calling you over to show you this “game” and painting side shows to being invited to a presidential inaugural ball and MANY different situations in between, some good and some even better. Some would be surprised to know I’m still alive. I never passed up a good challenge.

7. If you weren’t a woodworker you’d be________.

If wood weren’t my medium I would probably still be working in silver. I loved making silver jewelry and small sculptures.

Click HERE to see Ken’s work on Rustic Artistry.