A native of South Dakota,Jerry Green grew up in the rural foothills and plains surrounding RapidCity. As is the case with many young men growing up in a blue-collarfamily, Jerry and his brothers bought and rebuilt cars and motorcycles, andthen raced them. Living close to Mt. Rushmore and the beautiful Black Hillsalso gave Jerry generous opportunities to experience nature in its manyforms. This gave him a unique view; somewhere between mountains andplains, urban and rural, mechanical and natural.
After graduating high school,he soon joined the Air Force during the Vietnam era as a jet enginemechanic. During his several years abroad, Jerry found a love offunctional art. This began with blown glass fishing floats used in Guam,and continued with furniture, vessels and toys. After his service, Jerryreturned to Rapid City, SD to become an automotive machinist and welder. During this time, Jerry continued to rebuild and race cars as a hobby, andbecame a master with machine tools such as the lathe, milling machine, grinder,and drill press.
His love affair with wooddidn’t begin until the early 80’s when he started to experiment withfurniture. His early work was influenced by the Arts and Craftsdesigners, Gustav Stickney and the Greene brothers, as he focused on thecontrast of different woods and the beauty and functionality of finely craftedjoinery. It wasn’t until a chance visit to a Santa Fe gallery, while on afamily vacation in the mid-90’s, that his attention was drawn to using histools of trade as a new avenue of artistic expression. The lathe has nowbecome the primary focus of his creativity.
After retiring, Jerry devotedhis time to become as much a master of using a lathe with wood, as he wasalready a master with a lathe and steel. In recent years, he hasdiscovered and continues to explore the mystery and attraction of the vesselform. While continuing to use wood as his medium, he studies the work ofboth ancient and contemporary clay artists for inspiration. However,unlike the potter who builds up a vessel with clay, Jerry reverses the process,revealing the art within a piece of wood by peeling away the layers a bit at atime.
His work has been seen in “AmericanCraft” magazine, Western Heritage Center, Prairie Edge, Blue Dog, and DakotaNature and Art galleries and is in many private collections around thecountry. Jerry’s work continues to evolve as he explores newtechniques. But no matter what direction his work takes him, he strivesto always bring a love of form and wonderment to his work. Jerry says, “I hope totranslate my thoughts into a form that is both pleasing to the eye and hand,while challenging my skill and artistic expression with each new creation.”