Erik Wolken Works in Wood
I like to think of my work as functional sculpture, work that serves a sculptural aesthetic yet does not exist solely to be viewed from afar but to be interacted with and used everyday. There is a rhythm and poetry I seek to create in my pieces, a flow to the lines, a confluence of color and texture that makes a complete statement. My pieces are often the result of a process of discovery. Seldom do I start with a plan written in stone but a series of rough pencil sketches and the belief that I can devine the meaning of a piece in the process of building it.

Erik Wolken | Works In Wood
127 Lady Bug Ln | Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Commissioning Work


For those of you interested in a piece not on my site or a variation of an existing piece or simply wanting to change the size, wood species or color of an existing piece all this can be done. Much of the work I do is coming up with custom designs for clients whether it be working from concepts from my own work or helping you envision an idea of your own. The goal is for you to get a piece of furniture to treasure for a lifetime and to meet that goal I will talk with you extensively about what your needs are visit the site where the piece is to be placed, if possible, and  take into account its surroudings. I also have many tools to help you envision the piece in the design process like pencil sketches three dimensional computer models and actual small scale models to hold in your hand. All this to arrive at a finished product that exceeds your expectations.

To learn more about the design process and the pricing of custom work please view the following articles in my blog, "And now for some frank words on pricing", "Design Time"

Feature Image

Erik Wolken was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1961 and received his BA in geography from West Virginia University in1983. He spent the spring of 1988 studying furniture design with Chris Weiland at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and then spent the fall and winter of 88 /89 in the Program in Fine Woodworking at Haywood Community College in Clyde, North Carolina. From 1989 to 1995 he worked as a cabinetmaker for Woodpecker Enterprises in Apex, NC. In 1995 he opened his own studio in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and has been working on private commissions and showing his work nationally since.

Erik A. Wolken
Studio Furniture Maker
3315-c NC 54 West
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

1988-89 Program in Fine Woodworking, Haywood Community College, Clyde, NC
1988 Course Work in Furniture Design, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
1983 B.A. Geography, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

1988 Juried Student Exhibit, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
1992 Invitational Show, North Carolina Crafts Gallery, Carrboro, NC
1993 Invitational Show, North Carolina Crafts Gallery, Carrboro, NC
1993 Invitational Show, Accipiter, Raleigh, NC
1997 Spotlight '97 Southeast Juried Exhibition, American Craft Council, Hickory, NC
1997 Gallery America's 1st Annual Furniture Exhibition, Carrboro, NC
1999 Invitational Show, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
1999 Furniture 99: The Circle Unbroken, The Furniture Society, Smithville, TN
2000 Furniture as Art, Online Exhibition, www.Guild.com
2000 Philadelphia Furniture & Furnishings Show, Philadelphia, PA
2000 Studio Furniture: A Fine Art Invitational, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN
2000 Seating: The Artists Perspective, Meredith Gallery, Baltimore, MD and the Elliott Museum, Stuart, FL
2000 C.O.U.C.H , Artspace, Raleigh, NC
2001 Anything With A Drawer, Mesa Contemporary Arts, Mesa, AZ
2001 Philadelphia Furniture & Furnishings Show, Philadelphia, PA
2001 Chair Show 4, Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC
2002 The Thursday Club, Peace College, Raleigh, NC
2003 Three person show, Gallery WDO , Charlotte, NC
2003 CraftHouston 2003:National, Houston Center For Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX
2004 Curv-iture, National touring show sponsored by the Furniture Society
2004 Invitational, Kipp Gallery at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana , Pa
2004 Emerging Artist Retrospective, Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC
2005 Music Takes a Stand, Gallery Enigma, Essex, VT
2007 Functional + Extraordinary, an exhibition of works by Vivian Beer, Erik Wolken and
Paul. Freundt, Brenau University, Gainesville, Ga
2009 Dual Personalities, Grovewood Gallery , Asheville,

Honors and Awards
1988 Indiana Arts Council Award, Indiana, PA
1995 Workshop Scholarship, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, CO
1997 Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant, Durham Arts Council, Durham, NC
2001 Workshop Scholarship, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, CO
2003 Award of Merit, CraftHouston2003: NATIONAL
2004 Artist in Residence, Indiana University of Pennsylvania –
2004 Collectors of Wood Art, Visiting Artist Grant
2005 Instructor, Society for Contemporary Craft Summer Program, Pittsburgh, PA

2001-2002 Portfolio December/January, American Craft
2001 Object Lessons: Beauty and Meaning in Art, Guild Publishing
2002 Commissions October/November, American Craft
2003 The Artfull Home, Guild Publishing
2004 Design! A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists and Craftspeople, Lark Books
2005 Furniture Studio 3, The Furniture Society
2009 Studio Furniture Today’s leading woodworkers, Schiffer Publishing
2010 Wood Art Today 2, Schiffer publishing

In The Collection Of
Jane and Arthur Mason
Center for Turning and Furniture Design, Indiana , PA
Gregg Museum of Art and Design , Raleigh ,NC

Works In Wood Blog

The Works in Wood Blog is currently under contruction. We'll be back up and ruinning soon so please check again soon!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, want to commission a custom project orjust want to talk wood feel free to contact me using the form below.

Contact Me