James Pader tree art

Branch-deck-railing by James PaderArtisan James Pader has found a unique way of celebrating the wilderness that surround his home in Western North Carolina. By engaging in traditional woodworking crafts using locally sourced materials (mainly western red cedar), he creates railings create a link between the decks of houses and the views they overlook.

“When I first moved to the mountains, I saw these interesting branch designs in many different places,” says James. “In 2004, I had the chance to build the railings on a spec house my construction crew was working on.”

deck-railing cr James Pader

That’s the other thing – far from being a struggling artist, James runs his own construction company, utilising his creativity to celebrate his personal love of the trees.

“The branches are the inspiration,” James says. “Mountain laurel grows throughout the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine and is a familiar part of the understory to those who like being outdoors.”

branch-handrails by James Pader

Each design is unique, with the railings coming together “based on what sticks are available when the railing starts. It’s kind of like working on a jigsaw puzzle without having the picture on the box to look at. Not to sound overly mystical, but the railing is made by the sticks; I just pick them up and nail them in place. However they fit together is how they fit together.”

James has since branched out (pun intended) to turn his hand to building quirky yet functional furniture, including occasional tables that look like they might well amble away if the mood so takes them.

Occasional table cr James Pader

Find them here. I think they resemble the kind of furniture that might become friends with The Luggage in Terry Pratchett Discworld novels!

James comments that he loves the freedom his job affords him, and adds: “It’s also a pretty cool job! I listen to loud music and work with power tools. It’s also really gratifying to hear from so many happy people sending pictures of their projects from all over the country.”

Find more of James’ creations at awoodrailing.com.

Know an artist you’d like to see showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Give me a shout at judy(at)socketcreative.com.