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Swank, Jim


Under the Hill Woodworking

Benton County

Gallery Artisan

Swank, Jim

I learned my craft a little helping my father build and fix things on the farm. Formal training, such as it was, began with 7th grade shop class. I learned to build cabinets at my last duty station in the Navy, hanging out at a friendly local cabinet shop. I took woodcarving classes at the old War Eagle Seminars with Rex Branson and Harold Enlow. I am a 16 year member of the AAW (American Assoc. of Woodturners) and have attended several national symposiums. I am also a longstanding member of the IAP. (Int’l Assoc. of Penturners) Most recently (June '22) I took a 5 day box making class with Doug Stowe at ESSA. (Eureka Springs School of Arts) I also have a couple 3 day classes schedule with him in October. Over years of using tools, I have developed a deep appreciation of utilitarian objects intended for use. From cabinets through carving, fretwork, and the lathe, I find I keep being drawn back to that which is useful. American architect Louis Sullivan (1856–1924) is credited with the axiom "Form follows function." His most famous understudy, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 - 1959 ) extended the teachings of his mentor by changing the phrase to “form and function are one.” This axiom represents an ideal for which I strived during my career as a design engineer, and continue to follow as a woodworker.

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