AUGUST ARTIST OF THE MONTH - Corey Valichnac
A man of many talents, Corey Valichnac’s love of nature expresses itself in beautiful sculptural bowls. He works with many kinds of wood and says, “Walnut and mesquite are my favorites and I acquire most of my wood myself.”
Bowls are not his only output. Corey makes lidded boxes and has done some work with resin and wood. Corey is starting to make some knives and hatchets, refinishing furniture and he has also made tables and picture frames.
Born and raised in Pinetop-Lakeside, he went to Blue Ridge schools. He learned to work hard at the young age of 12 when I was stocking lumber for his dad who was a general contractor building houses. That’s where he found his love of wood,
With his equipment, a Woodfast lathe made in Australia, he can turn a 22” diameter bowl about 16” deep. Many of his bowls include a turquoise inlay. The beautiful glossy finish on his bowls is because of all the time that he puts into the sanding/finishing process. He uses two to three coats of tung oil, then six to 12 coats of gloss lacquer from a spray can. There are also steps of wet sanding by hand, usually six sets and then five sets of dry sanding before polishing.
Corey and his wife live in Show Low with their three children. His youngest son has shown an interest in making a few things on the lathe and scroll saw. Perhaps he will follow in his daddy’s footsteps.
A member of the High Country Art Gallery for two years, Corey is the August featured artist.