Rik Mars
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Hout & Toelevering, Volume 15 nr. 15 - 2002 September 05
Amsterdam - Rik Mars, 48 jaar, 48 years old, full time civil servant and artist off work. He makes surprising creations in wood, which he finds on his way or just gets offered from neighbours, family or friends. "Usually I know beforehand what an object will look like, but even so it is always exciting doing the work. It is really an adventurous thing to do."

"I started by making all kinds of practical things in wood for my own house, like a kitchen, a few sideboards and other carpentry work around the house. At a certain point all that was needed is done. Nevertheless I found working in wood so nice that I set myself on making wooden objects. There was time, energy and ideas in spare to do these things."

Rik Mars

Rik Mars: "Most of the times I know beforehand how an object will be, but over and over again the creating is an exiting job." (photo: Gelderland Vakbladen).


Rik Mars is a modest man. He creates most wonderful objects, but still he calls his work to be 'not spectacular'. Diversity is the key. From bowls in Red ironwood to objects made out of the stub of a willow or an apple core eaten by woodworms. Often the object carry wonderful names inviting clarification. On the front page of his web site a stub of a willow can be seen, on top a sphere of willow which is split into several parts. In between is copper. The object received the name UTO, Unidentified Terrestrial Object. It shows the contrast between the earthly and the heavenly, the sphere on top representing the heavenly, the stub of the willow the earthly. The roots are like the feet of an elephant standing sturdy on the earth.

For sale

"Whenever I see a piece of wood I usually know what I am going to create out of it. Only very seldom I change my mind during the working process. I often use woodturning, but also use other techniques. Woodturning by itself I find often too bleak." Although Rik Mars creates beautiful objects, his work is known only in limited circles. "I participated some time ago in the Atelierroute (Open Workshop day) in Amsterdam North. I got many nice comments. And recently I also had an exhibition at the public library at Landsmeer. In general my work is for sale. But I have to add that I didn't sell very much yet, although I didn't do too much to promote that either. It is fun to turn thoughts into objects and it is even more fun when others can enjoy too.

Diner for two
'Diner for two'. A core of an apple out of Birch, eaten by woodworms.
(photo: Rik Mars)

Other materials

Though Rik Mars prefers wood, he sometimes experiments with other materials. "Wood is special. It is everywhere around, relatively easy to work and it often surprises. In many cases it looks different inside as what you would have expected. I am up to creating an object in Plexiglas, but in combination with wood. That's where my heart lies."


In most cases Rik Mars uses for his creations wood that he finds somewhere or gets offeredby someone. Some time ago a neighbour surprised him with a stump of a willow. Rik Mars had an idea in it. He put the trunk on the street in front of his house. There is stood some time and slowly the ideas ripened in his head. The sanitation department was less artistically-minded and removed the stump towards the waste-disposal. Rik Mars couldn't leave his idea. It took him many phone calls to trace the stump. He astonished the personnel of the waste-disposal by tearing away the stump from the mouth of the disintegrater.

Rik Mars at work in his workshop

Rik Mars at work in his workshop.
(photo: Rik Mars)