Rik Mars (1954) living in Vorden, The Netherlands, is an artist working mainly in wood. He
makes furniture, but he also creates abstract objects. The wood itself should tell the tale.
To get from the wood or the log what Nature put into it is the objective.
Rik Mars has a technical education (both mechanical and civil engineering), but no formal
education as an artist. Even in the field of wood and wood working he has had no schooling. All he
does in this field, he developed himself while doing.
Originally the objects were created for his own pleasure, only. More recently he shows his work
around. In 1995 having exhibitions at the offices of Amsterdam Water Supply, in 1998, 1999 and
2000 as participator in the Atelierroute Nieuwendam (Amsterdam), in 1999 participating in the Dutch woodturning
exhibition at Culemborg, The Netherlands, and in 2000 with an exhibition in Kunstlokaal 11, Borculo,
The Netherlands, in 2001 at the second National Woodturning Exhibition in Tiel, The Netherlands, in 2002
with an exhibition in the public library at Landsmeer, The Netherlands and with a presentation at the trade
fair "Wood" at Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
In 2002 an interview was published in the magazine 'Hout & Toelevering'.
In 2003 AktieRadius, quarterly of the Dutch Association of Woodturners
Radius, published an interview with him. Also
that year he was one of the participants in the joint exhibition of Radius in the Toy Museum in
Spring 2004 he had an exhibition in the BovenIJ Hospital in Amsterdam-North and was he a participant
in the exhibition in the visitor's centre De Oranjekom in de Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen.
In 2006 his work could be seen in an exhibition in the RevalidatieCentrum Amsterdam.
Strictly saying he is not a wood turner by itself. For most of the objects the turning is only an
aid, a phase in the creating of the object. The smoothness and tightness which can be reached by turning
is often not enough. Additions or rather omissions add dimensions to the work. Sometimes together
with nature, the wood or the tree, sometimes the contrary. Aesthetics and harmony play their role in
this, but also expressing of emotions.
The material uses is wood in most of the cases. It is warm, nice to work and always it hides some surprises
that are expressed during the creating.
That wood doesn't need to be expensive. Rik Mars mostly uses wood from his environment, that would have
been thrown away or burned if not used by him for better purposes. In these pieces of wood too, exciting
secrets await to be set free.
Conventionally wood is preferably watered and carefully dried before it can be used. To the contrary Rik Mars
often uses wet wood to create his objects. Just cut from the tree, the wood is machined. Water runs over
the tools. Only after this preliminary operation the wood is put away to dry.
Thinner pieces can deform and will not fissure. In stronger parts of the wood the deformation is hindered
and the wood cracks. The final form is shaped later, both by turning and carving, taking the deformation
or cracks to be part of the object or the object itself.
By this way of working also the bark of the tree or even the mosses on the bark can play a role the
finished object. Differences in colour in the wood, combining different woods or purposely colouring
are other methods of expression used.