My Take on Snow Lake: Artist carves niche with furniture creations

Snow Lake is currently (and once again) home to a very unique artist, Lars Stoltz. 

As a teen, Stoltz spent a number of years in the community before moving to the West Coast where he honed a craft that sees him turn lengths and rounds of cedar into amazing and functional works of art. 

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And it isn’t just Stoltz’s artwork that is distinctive – it is his look. Tall and lean, he sports a beard that could undoubtedly win any contest he entered it in. It is easily a foot long, red and bedazzled with beads and braids.

Currently the artist’s go-to pieces are his chairs. These chairs are basically blank Adirondack style seats that Stoltz builds entirely out of west coast cedar; he then puts anything the customer wants on the bed in respect to name, design, languages or fonts. Arm rests and legs are made from cedar split rail fencing. 

Some of the artwork and lettering is freehand, but much is stenciled. “I have done freehand in the past and my lovely lady is an exceptional artist who I’ve used for lettering and designs,” said Stoltz in a short interview at the recent Truck Bog. “But I also have stencilled from various sources, as it’s the quickest and therefor cheapest for clients.”

He stencils or draws the designs and lettering on his chairs, then burns them freehand with white-hot butterknives, which he buys in hundred lots wherever he can.

As amazing as his work is, Stoltz stumbled on it by chance. He got into it as a result of a lack of work on Vancouver Island, as well as on a bit of a whim. He saw a similar chair online and mentioned to a friend that he thought he could do it better. 

The friend – a tattooist – said that if Stoltz could, he would trade some of his work for a chair. The friend loved the chair, as did others, so a business – LarsWorks - was born.

Stoltz also does other handi-man type work and operates equipment. However, Lars-Works has been his default job for an extended period of time.

Of note, one of Stoltz’s Adirondacks was purchased by Chris Chell and presented as the prize for the best time in the recent Truck Bog, but that isn’t the only piece he has made and presented in past months. He gifted Fort McMurray’s Fire Chief, Darby Allen, with a cedar round that has a wood buffalo burned into the centre, and also a knife burned plank representation of the province of Alberta that was handed over during the Fire Aid 2016 concert on June 29 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. 

Another famous person who owns a LarsWorks piece is Zakk Wylde, singer for the American metal band Black Label Society. Stoltz actually made a holiday out of the presentation when he drove a personalized chair to Los Angeles and presented it to Wylde in person. One artist
honouring another.

My Take on Snow Lake is published on Fridays.

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