Barry Massey: Owner/Artist
Growing up in South Dakota the youngest son of a master carpenter and independent lumberman, I have worked with wood my entire life.
After spending my early years working in the extreme South Dakota weather, it seemed like a good idea to get a college education and “inside job”. I chose a career path as a software engineer.
During that 30-year career woodworking was a constant. I created and built wherever the inside job took me, including several US cities and three foreign countries – New Zealand, Germany and India. Experiencing other cultures is valuable, and the opportunity to observe how artisans around the globe use and create from local trees really expanded my view of what can be done. Now, in my second career, I have returned to my woodworking roots.
When I purchased property in Colorado’s Wet Mountain Valley in 2007, the biggest surprise for me was the abundant, unique and beautiful nature of the Juniper trees. I had never used Juniper in woodworking or studied the species. The more I researched, the more I realized what a fascinating, hardy and enduring tree it is. There are several types of Junipers; 40 Acre Wood has the Rocky Mountain, Utah and One-seed varieties. One of the oldest Rocky Mountain Junipers is near Logan, Utah, and is over 3,000 years old.
The pictures are from the property where all the wood is gathered to make the sculptures. As you can see the trees take many different shapes and can be challenging to work with.
For me, the natural rough gray outer shell contrasted with the granite like polished inner red bring these perceived dead trees back to life. Before starting to carve a piece I like to “live with it” for some time in the workshop or my living room. Even then I really don’t know exactly how a piece will turn out until it is done.
Please see the Gallery for a sample of currently available pieces or contact me to discuss specific design ideas.