Vicco von Voss, an Eastern Shore wood sculptor, has been awarded the prestigious William Thornton Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship in recognition of singular achievement. The award, which was recently presented in Baltimore by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is given each year by the Made: In America Foundation of Washington, DC. Made: In America’s mission is to create and foster a business climate conducive to the free exchange of ideas and information to revitalize and sustain the competitiveness of American commerce and industry in a global economy.
Vicco von Voss is well known for his fine furniture, artistic creations, home installations and timber framing. He works with wood local to the Eastern Shore such as oak, walnut and cherry, salvaging his wood from trees that have been damaged by storms or removed by tree companies. He comments, “Design, reverence for the material and craftsmanship go into each individual piece that I create. Receiving this award affirms these values and recognizes these efforts, which have been a life long journey.”
Born in Kiel, Germany, von Voss was greatly influenced by both his grandfathers. One was a forester and woodcarver who inspired his deep love of nature, understanding of trees, and introduced him to the craft of woodworking. The other was an architect who worked in conjunction with Frank Lloyd Wright to re-build structures in post-war Hamburg. Vicco came to the United States as a teenager and eventually enrolled in Washington College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in art with a minor in chemistry in 1991. After graduating from college, Von Voss completed a three-year carpentry apprenticeship in Hamburg, back in his native Germany. He then returned to the Chestertown area and began making custom furniture.
The essence of von Voss’s work is in relationships: he feels a spiritual connection to trees, an understanding of the nature of wood, a collaborative partnership with clients, and a unique creative process with each piece. His custom-installations are some of his most unique work.
He has also led the effort to build the floating river sculpture San Culpa, featured by last year’s River Arts Festival in Chestertown, MD.
Vicco von Voss has his workshop/studio in Centreville, MD, where he resides with his wife and daughter. For more information, visitwww.viccovonvoss.com.