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Contact / Artist's Statement

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ARTIST'S STATEMENT

 Nestled in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Blue Ridge Salvage is the workshop of artisan, Vanessa Morris. Born and raised in central Alabama and encouraged by ingenious parents, Vanessa has always possessed a strong interest in finding new life in cast off materials as well as working with her hands.

As an adult, Vanessa moved to West Virginia, where a friend discovered her diversified talents and introduced her to a master artist specializing in the creation of wooden toys. This fortunate encounter marked not only the beginning of a new friendship but more importantly, an informal apprenticeship as the master artist passed along the traditional skills, techniques and values of his craft.

Several years later, having become the primary builder, Vanessa has further refined and developed an ever expanding line of quality wooden toys for all ages. The master artisan who sparked her passion and taught her the art of toy building remains an inspirational advisor and driving influence in her work.

Intense, with a mischievous streak, Vanessa’s personality and passion can be found throughout her work. The patterns, natural anomalies and colors of various woods inspire her every creation, many of which are intended to revive the appreciation and importance of toys that do not require batteries.

Characterized by their construction from rescued materials, every toy is unique. The wood is salvaged from many avenues but is primarily cutoff pieces, mistakes or other leavings from cabinet and furniture builders. In addition, local wood milled many years ago or other wood of suitable quality is also obtained whenever possible and put to work. The use of quality, clean recovered wood with the absence of any chemically treated material, keep the toys safe for all ages.

Blue Ridge Salvage is devoted to the creation of traditional heirloom quality toys, inspiring childhood imaginative play, preservation of the environment and giving back to the community by actively donating to support many causes. All of these goals are fulfilled by practicing and preserving the art of creating handcrafted wooden toys for all ages from clean, reclaimed wood.

Across Appalachia the character of the artisans is readily evident in the rich culture of quality, indigenous creations as well as the emphasis of strong ties to community. Blue Ridge Salvage is proud to help keep these time honored traditions alive through the creation of wooden toys.

 


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