It is not expected nor natural to come across the wood of a cedar, redwood or pine tree in the middle of a desert but if you do, it’s likely that you’ve encountered a piece by artist, woodworker and our friend Dan Anderson. Just like his art, Dan himself, symbolizes the unexpected presence of the Pacific Northwest within desert land. Born and raised in rural Eastern Washington, Dan spent his formative years in Portland, Oregon where he studied at the Oregon College of Art & Craft.
On the heels of a well run course with the PNW and Von Tundra, an art and design collective he co-founded, Anderson moved to Joshua Tree, California. He has since reestablished his creative practices, this time in an inspirationally expansive and arid landscape, creating bespoke wooden pieces ranging from functional cubic stools used in family kitchens to decorative undulating totems placed outside among the desert fauna. We recently visited Dan at his Joshua Tree studio to see his work in its natural landscape, ask him some questions, and crack open a few cans of Madre Desert Water.
Thanks! I actually think that in some ways my work doesn't belong here - not much does, really. Like most things in this open landscape I think a lot of the things I make rather stand out when I see them up against the horizon.
Maybe at best some of my work feels complimentary to this place, the feeling of it and gestures at some channel between the earth and sky here
I came here for my first time in 2010 as part of an art and design collective that I was a part of in Portland, called Von Tundra - we were invited to share our work at Andrea Zittel's, A-Z West.
I was taken by this place pretty immediately and lucky for me some doors opened up that allowed me to come back, get to know it more and work on some projects off and on until I was able to move here full time in 2012.