While Toney Robertson experimented with wood crafts as a teenager, he didn’t begin turning wood bowls and platters until February 2008. Today Toney produces fine wood bowls and platters in the same workshop his father, Earl, built for him as a boy.
Toney credits his parents for more than just his studio. Despite a childhood accident that left his hands severely burned, his parents never let Toney use his injuries as an excuse to not try something. That positive approach, combined with his mother’s advice to do something right if you are going to do it, instilled him with a strong work ethic that carries over to Toney’s woodworking.
His minimalist style results in pieces with gentle curves and shallow design, which Toney says is somewhat Asian-inspired. The finished product is a one-of-a-kind piece that is beautiful yet practical. He credits the wood for making each piece unique.
“I think the wood should remain pure,” Toney says. “I try to create a design that maximizes the character of the wood.”
He uses wood indigenous to northeastern Indiana in his work whenever he can. Most recently he has been working with spalted maple, cherry and walnut.
“The maple is six blocks away and the cherry tree is from my own backyard. There is a walnut tree down the street that I’ll start with next,” Toney explains.
Toney hopes that being accepted into Indiana Artisan will be his springboard to a second career. He considers it an honor to be chosen and looks forward to gaining more recognition across the state for his work.
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