MEMBER NEWS: Arthur Miller, Cape May, NJ - Local wood artist also has a ‘sweet’ side (01/05/2016)
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
PRESS OF ATLANTIC CITY: Local wood artist also has a ‘sweet’ side (01/05/2016)
When Arthur Miller — a local wood artist, not the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright — retired from the U.S. Coast Guard years ago, he “did other things” such as working in medical equipment and hardware supplies. But he started seriously turning five years ago and, as he jokingly says, “This turning stuff got out of control.”
While the hobby or new career as it were, began only recently, Miller’s interest in wood turning began in a 10th grade shop class. But due to a lack of equipment at home, he never pursued it any further than turning pieces “here and there” over the years around Christmastime to present them as gifts to various family members.
“People said they were nice; I thought they were being nice,” Miller says.
Eventually, his family admitted they “had enough pieces,” so a friend told him about the Cape May Artists Cooperative Gallery, where he could display the work that he so eagerly wanted to continue.
“I tricked them into letting me in and they did,” he jokes. “The co-op worked out nicely — I have an outlet for my work and can pay for my habit.”
“Wood Art by Art,” the name of Miller’s line, is composed of mostly usable items in either wood or acrylic such as pens, pizza cutters and ice cream scoopers, as well as a few pieces he creates simply for art’s sake.
“I have a couple of things that qualify as ‘art’ — bowls that don’t really hold anything. Some have good grains, but I never know what they’ll look like until they start turning,” he explains of the wood pieces he creates from trees that he cuts down himself where he lives in Erma. “But I like doing the practical things — if you can’t use it, it’s just collecting dust.”
Aside from “local woods,” as he calls the trees, Miller works with exotic, domestic and manufactured woods, as well as acrylics in his backyard shed — which his wife Dee insists that he calls a “studio.”
The parent company for Miller’s Wood Art by Art is called Sweet N Round, a business that he shares with Dee, who is from Medina, Ohio — “the sweetest town on earth,” as well as the biggest bee supplier in the world, according to Miller, who along with his wife, is also a bee keeper.
“The ‘sweet’ in Sweet N Round is for the honey we sell; ‘round’ is for my bowls and tops and pins,” says Miller, who is also from Ohio, but Akron.
Besides the long-term residency for his wood art at Cape May Artists’ Coop, both parts of Sweet N Round will be on-site at the next “Fire Pit Friday” at Willow Creek Winery in Cape May 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8.
Miller is always willing and excited to assist with and create something unique for any special orders when it comes to his wood or acrylic pieces. Or as this former Buckeye so simply puts it, “I will be happy to comply.”
WOOD ART BY ART
Where: Cape May Artists Cooperative Gallery, 122-124 Sunset Blvd., Cape May
January and February hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays
Where: Willow Creek Winery, 169 Stevens St., West Cape May
When: 6 to 9 p.m. ‘Fire Pit Friday,’ Jan. 8
View source and photos.