A Personal Statement by Thorn Zay:
“Wood is a remarkable material and because of its living qualities is able to stimulate an active and intimate connection between the human being and form. In a world where man is continually experiencing his lack of relation to the man-created world around him, deeper experience of forms of nature and also of manmade forms can be a real enrichment of his life. Carving in wood can awaken this as well as produce beautiful and useful objects."
“My own work falls into two different directions which start from this central impulse to connect man to his environment in a living way. The first one is what I would call a free sculptural direction. In this, what lives within man as gesture but is also active in the world around him, shapes through the human hand various materials such as wood, clay, plaster, and stone. These free sculptures should speak directly to man as form. In the other direction this inner human gesture is connected directly with the practical world, with useful and everyday objects. (Bowls, lamps, and all objects which can be made in wood.) The nature of the wood and the use of simple tools enhance this connection. The practical side of these things often attracts and interests students and gets them involved."
“Any teaching I do is based on and developed out of my own experience of wood carving of all kinds. I have found that one of the best ways to teach is to be actively doing my own work in the classroom as much as possible. Often I try to do the same project that I assign the students."