Tom Eckert

Tom Eckert

My sculptures are formed entirely of wood and then painted. I use traditional processes to carve, construct, laminate and paint my pieces. The woods I prefer working with are basswood, linden and limewood (all very similar) chosen because they carve and paint well and are very stable. Coming from a painting and drawing background, I am still interested in applying some of those techniques to my sculptures. My choice of paint is mostly waterborne lacquer applied using both spray guns and brushes.

Forms carved to suggest cloth recur in many of my pieces. By tradition, cloth has been widely used to conceal and shroud objects in practices ranging from advertising to church rituals. Covered forms are often more evocative – with a sense of mystery absent from the uncovered object by itself. I remember in church one Lent, as a child, being mystified while gazing at the statues shrouded with purple cloth.

Since childhood, I have been curious about and amused by mistaken impressions of reality presented as part of my visual experiences. One of my earliest recollections, on a car trip, was my perception of the wet, slick highway ahead that turned out to be an illusion, a mirage. The revelation that I was fooled, visually and intellectually tricked, stuck with me. This visual deception is now the basis for my creative direction. “Cloth” carved of wood has much different structural qualities than real cloth. When this idea is applied to my compositions (floating book, floating cards, floating rock) a sense of the impossible happens – for me, magic.

V- vertical by Tom Eckert

V – Vertical

8″ x 33″ x 4″d

schmatte II by Tom Eckert

Schmatte II

Basswood, paint
4″ x 14″ x 11″d

Gnostic by Tom Eckert

Gnostic Moon

Basswood, lacquer
15.5″ x 24″ x 1.5″d

Obscured by Tom Eckert


Basswood, lacquer
20″ x 21″ x 1.5″d

Rag Study by Tom Eckert

Rag Study

8″ x 10″ x 2″d