The Collaborative Project sees 20 American and International wood practitioners take on the challenge to design and create a wooden sculptural installation in just two weeks.

Taking the theme of “Roots” as a starting point, this cross-cultural collaboration will see a team of wood carvers, turners, sculptors and furniture-makers react to and evolve through the specific circumstances and challenges which are unique to this place and time.

The project aims to encourage new ideas, approaches and possibilities through teamwork, skill-sharing and cultural bridge-building, to emphasise the beauty of wood and to highlight woodworking as a global language.

Project Managers


He began his professional life as an engineer before transitioning to a career in design. As a designer and furniture-maker, Cillian has received numerous awards and international recognition for his work. In 2015 he was named FutureMaker of the Year by the Design and Craft Council of Ireland. His work has been shown in Dublin, London and Paris and featured in such publications as Wallpaper*, AD Architectural Digest and Elle Decoration.

Michael CULLEN

He was born in Idaho, raised in California and trained at Leeds Design Workshops in Massachusetts before moving to Northern California to set up shop in Petaluma where he's been producing furniture and sculpture since 1990. He has taught workshops and joined collaborative projects around the world, most recently in Tennessee, Saskatchewan, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Nepal.

The Team (In the alphabetical order of the country and region represented)


I started my art studies when I was 20 years old and almost right away I fell in love with sculpture. I work as a professor at University and in several art schools. For almost 10 years I have been participating in national and international sculpture symposiums and awarded several prizes.


Trained as a patternmaker/industrial designer in the plastics industry in Sydney. Full time sculptor since moving to the Mid North Coast in 1989. Has held numerous group and solo exhibitions. His work is represented in a number of public and private collections.


I made my first carving at the age of 10. I worked at Belarusian National Kupala Theater as a decorator and at Belarusian State Opera and Ballet Theater as a sculptor. I am participant and winner of Belarusian, Russian, Ukranian, Polish woodcarving festivals and plenaries. I am a Member of Belarusian Arts and Crafts Union.

Yorgo Leo LIAPIS

His portfolio crosses the boundaries of art and design, creating sculptural works and design pieces with a focus on materiality and craftsmanship. He recently completed a program in Furniture Design at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. He has a studio in Toronto supported by the Ontario Arts Council. He is currently represented by the Gallery at Somes Sound in Main, USA.

Fernando VERA

Fernando Vera Angel has worked with great versatility in wood carving, creating objects where he uses a fusion between the glass technique and wood carving. He seems to combine in equal parts the inspiration of the artist, the dedication of the medieval craftsman and the curiosity for new technologies craftsman-artist of the day.

Michael K. FINEY

I was born in Yap where I learnt woodcarving from my dad. I moved several times to pursue jobs until I realized I prefer woodcarving, so I dropped everything and opened my shop. I'm now a builder and artist. I've entered several competitions and won most, including the grand champion in 2012 flame tree Art festival and the governor's choice awards in the same competition in 2014.

Jocelyne Françoise NAIGEON

Began woodturning in 1998, she become professional in 2006 after learning for 2 years with Jean-François Escoulen. She is President of a local association of arts and crafts. She demonstrates woodturning mainly in Europe and teaches at the Escoulen school in France. She enjoys turning small items like little boxes or spoons, and artistic work, much of which is based on pierced spheres.

Nathalie Johanne GROENEWEG

Started to work with wood in 1999 by learning how to make classical guitars in England, then, employed in few workshops. Discovered woodturning in 2009 then sculpture. Created my own workshop in 2013 so as to create more, changing precious wood in sculpture or wooden jewels. Techniques that I teach in two French schools.


He expressed an interest in the art of woodcarving at an early age; however he didn’t fully embrace this craft until receiving a very special Christmas gift from his mother in 1987, a certificate for a woodcarving course. He continued formal training under master woodcarvers at home and abroad.

Anees Yasin MAANI

Born in 1973, a Jordanian artist currently based in Malaysia. I have had four solo exhibitions in Jordan, the Netherlands and Malaysia, participated in many international group exhibitions, several sculpture symposia, workshops and art residencies. I have seven outdoor public sculptures in Jordan and one in Bahrain.

Soo Ngee LIM

His approach to sculpture is deeply personal and one with a conviction to re-engage and synthesize the traditional hand skill with contemporary life experiences. His works often lend themselves to whimsical narratives suggestive of the dilemma of men in the modern society - men who tried in vain to create a perfect self from the projections of an imperfect society.

Jean-Frederic A. BATASSE

Born in Togo in 1985, he is based in Lomé. He spent three years learning African modern art and his works were exhibited in Europe. He has worked with Paul AHYI, Professor of arts and sculptor of international fame, German actress performer Anne TISMER, German artists and master Plaster designer Kossi Assou before.

Mustapha ABBOUR

I graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in sculpture. In 2008, I participated in the Zaragoza exhibition water themed in Spain and I designed artistic plans with an architect and made sculptural assembly. In 2009, I presented the drawing club organizer in the educational house of "ghar el melh". I teach sculpturing at Souq Waqif Art Center at Doha, Qatar since 2013.


After college I rediscovered my interest in art and my passion for making things. This led me to Garry Knox Bennett, who became my mentor, friend, and my employer. I am drawn to making studio furniture because it fulfills my need for order, as well as my creative need for expression, while benefiting from my attention to detail.

Anthony Sergio FORTNER

Anthony Fortner began making furniture in high school and hasn’t stopped. Favorite work in his native Southern California include: Greene and Greene homes, museums, several churches including Old Mission San Gabriel. As a Professor at Cerritos College, he creates handcrafted woodwork with award winning students, consults on California Design, Studio Furniture, and the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Beau Jack Imua KEY

Beau Jack Imua Key challenged himself for many years to master the art of carving and lashing the ancient forms of the Hawaiian fishhook. BeauJack then immersed himself in the research, recreation and the renewal of the body adornments his ancestors once wore.As a photographer and a carver, Beau Jack blends today's technology with our traditional Hawaiian forms to show everyone his unique vision.

Jacques Anthony VESERY

Jacques Vesery is an Artist/ Sculptor from Damariscotta and has lived in Maine for over 25 years. Striving to create an illusion of reality, his vision and inspiration begins with repetitive patterns derived from the 'golden mean' or 'divine proportions'. The marriage of pattern, form and proportion conveys a sense of growth from within each of his pieces.

Kimberly Sue MCNEELAN

Apprenticed with Michael Cullen through the Baulines Craft Guild, she is a woodworker, artist, teacher, and a life long student. She focuses on interactive public sculpture, unique furniture, commissions, writing for Woodworker’s Journal, and collaborative artwork.