About Jay's Woods:

Jay’s Woods has been in business since 2006. Jay Ryan the owner and creative momentum behind Jay’s Woods was born and raised on a farm in Nebraska. After leaving home he headed out into the great blue yonder first as a Navy Diver and second working for Scripps Oceanographic traveling the seven seas.

Though his travels were far and wide, his heart belongs to Nebraska and her wide open spaces. In 2004, he moved back to Lincoln, NE where he set up shop working with a local cabinet maker. Desiring to spread his creative wings, he set out once again into unknown waters and started Jay’s Woods.

Jay Ryan’s artistic influences tend to come from the Arts and Craft Movement at the turn of the century. Looking to Nakashima and others, Jay creates works that are both linear and organic at the same time. Jay’s work highlights the natural uniqueness of the wood which he finds. Frequently making use of waney edges and spalted maples, Jay’s work remains true to the nature of the tree from which it came.

Our Philosophy: Why a mortise and tenon?

Robinson Jeffers wrote that, "surely one always knew that life’s end is death". Eventually everything fails: you, me , the tree. the stone, the very air, the sun, presumably all that we know and all that we don’t. Change is the only constant.

Glue is chemical in nature. Since we first realized that spit would hold together..., we have looked for more efficient glues. We humans have become very skilled at manipulating compounds for all kinds of purposes. We are very skilled at making glues, and yet most glues that were made a hundred years ago have failed by now. Modern glues are likely to last longer, but only slightly longer from the perspective of geologic time. A weld will fail before the steel that it holds together will rust away. Similarly, glue that holds wood together will will fail before the the lignins and the cellular life that is a properly dried tree desires its own return to the earth.

Screws are made from all kinds of metals.. Archaeology teaches us that most metals are likely to last longer as an artifact in the earth than are most woods, but temperature, a tar pit, an ice age. Not all rules are fast. Whe wood is screwed together, the grainlines that represent the structure of the tree are rended apart, rendering the wood weaker as a whole than it was before.

But wood beats both glue and screw as its own fastener. Wood can be shaped to interlock with itself and hold itself together for hundreds of years with no assistance from its occasional allies either glue or screw. The force, the very core of this this thing that we call life when it comes from the dirt and from the sun in the form of a tree is a truly amazing ally of our own. The forests have been with us since before memory. They were are only fuel, save the sun, for many thousands of years, before oil. They have built our houses, bridged our rivers cleaned our air, they are our partners in this endevour, this time that we spend on the planet. Most trees would outlive us with ease if we did not cut so many of them down.

The crafting of something from wood should be special. Whatever the purpose; be it a home or a chair, a cradle or a cathedral. Care should be taken, consideration should be given, when a person has only a hundred years to give, some portion of your time should probably be given to creating something that outlives you, the longer the better.

-J.S.R. (2007)

© Copyright 2010   JAY'S WOODS 375 Fir Street, Bennet, NE 68317   402-782-8100    jascryan@hotmail.com