About the Artist
- Sleeping on the Clavey River
Reuben was born in Calaveras County, but has traveled and lived in many places around the world. Finding inspiration through travel and adventure in the mountains he calls home, his work interprets the color, shapes, and textures found along the way. "Working with my hands and making something that comes from my imagination has always felt genuine and inspiring to me." - Reuben Childress
In 2015 the Butte Fire raged through Calaveras County leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Many friends and loved ones lost their homes or property, and the life and environment around us as we knew it changed drastically. "Most of my parent's 30 acres of mixed conifer property burned -including some stands of massively-large and old Manzanita trees" Reuben explained. Residents of this area who were not forced to leave after loosing everything - or those who chose to stay in the area after the fire, began the heartbreaking process of rebuilding homes and restoring the land around them.
"It is almost unimaginable the amount of wood that remains after a large wildfire. It is with this wood, and long dead stumps that I chainsaw for firewood, where I find the unique grains and patterns to create wooden jewelry, and other art. Like the oaks and shrubs putting out new leaves after the fire, it feels like rebirth to turn this wood's natural beauty into something new. Each piece is unique, as it is created while cutting the wood and discovering how the grain can be used.
Through travel, and adventure in the mountains I call home - I find inspiration through natural color, shape, and the textures I find along the way."