Rosemount artist John C. Traeger, owner of Artistry in Woodworking, is this year’s Lakeville Art Festival Featured Artist.

Traeger creates wooden jewelry and keepsake boxes from various exotic and domestic hardwoods that emphasize the visual aspects of color and contrast while maintaining the beauty of the wood.

“As a woodworker artist, the two most important things that fuel my love of woodworking, is the desire to create beautiful jewelry boxes that will last in your family for generations,” he said in his artist statement, “and the ongoing search of unique exotic and domestic wood species that have beautiful and unusual grain and color patterns.

“I have learned much from studying and sharing ideas with many fellow woodworkers,” he said. “My lifelong love of wood and woodworking has fueled my desire to make beautiful, yet functional, pieces that people can enjoy. I examine each piece of wood to determine how best to display its attributes - and to bring out the beauty of its unique grain or color variations.

“When I add the final finish to the wood I do not use any stains or dyes, I use a clear coat to enhance the wood’s characteristics, but never to cover up what nature has given.” Traeger, who also makes wood wine bottle stoppers, has published a book “Band Saw Box Patterns” to help pass on his techniques to other woodworkers.

In 2015, Traeger was awarded the Art TOSCAR by Twin Cities TOSCA at the organization’s Ten Year Anniversary Soiree.

“John creates some of the most beautiful work you will ever set eyes on using domestic and exotic hard woods, and he does it from right next door in Rosemount,” said Sarah Stowell, chair of the Lakeville Art Festival planning committee.

Traeger’s work is on his website at johntraegerstudio.com.

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