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From doodling to master woodwork, Ogden artist finds balance in many art forms

By Chelsi Lasater - | Sep 23, 2021
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Artist and woodworker Mark Waterfall creates beautiful custom pieces of functional art.
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Ogden born artist and woodworker Mark Waterfall.
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Handcrafted rocker by artist and woodworker Mark Waterfall who has a studio at The Monarch.
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Woodworker Mark Waterfall's preferred medium is black walnut for the durability and detail in the wood grain.
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“The woodwork is what I do right and precisely. ... The artwork is what I don’t care to do right,” says artist Mark Waterfall.
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Starting with smaller custom pieces, artist and woodworker Mark Waterfall began a thriving business selling functional artwork.
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Artist Mark Waterfall creates custom furniture pieces that are functional pieces of art.
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“The woodwork is what I do right and precisely. ... The artwork is what I don’t care to do right,” says artist Mark Waterfall.
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“The woodwork is what I do right and precisely. ... The artwork is what I don’t care to do right,” says artist Mark Waterfall.
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Woodworker Mark Waterfall's preferred medium is black walnut for the durability and detail in the wood grain.

“Doodling and drawing on things growing up was a common problem,” said Ogden-born-and-raised artist Mark Waterfall.

Mostly a woodworker, Waterfall’s preferred medium is black walnut. “The durability and immense amount of detail in the wood grain make it a prime choice,” he said.

For his paintings, he prefers acrylic paints in a mixed-medium format, oftentimes layered with aerosol paints. As with most artists, doodling with sharpies and ink is a favorite — though he tries to refrain from unpermitted walls now.

Waterfall grew up building, fixing and creating with his dad and brothers. Artistry was both in his blood and all around him, shaping him into the artist he is today. His grandfather and great-uncle, both sculptors, and his grandmother, a painter, were always alongside his parents in supporting his creative pursuits.

For four years, Waterfall worked for an exhibit/design and construction group until a motorcycle accident — which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

He lost his job and decided to go back to school. At Utah State University in 2016, he attended the Outdoor Product Design and Development program. While there, he began to focus on personal projects in his shop, starting with smaller side tables and coffee tables. Soon Waterfall realized these one-of-a-kind pieces might be worth something.

A friend of Waterfall’s was in charge of interiors for a project at Powder Mountain ski resort and after seeing his work, this friend asked Waterfall to showcase his artwork in an office lounge area. Soon after putting a large coffee table in that lounge, Waterfall was contacted by clients who were building a new home in the area.

“The coffee table led to side tables, which led to a dining table, etc., and I’ve been going at it ever since. I have been self-employed for the past five years creating custom interior pieces for clients from Powder Mountain, UT, to Los Angeles, CA.,” says Waterfall.

In his studio at The Monarch, Waterfall features a variety of pieces that serve as inspiration for custom commissions. “I have original artwork, prints, custom furniture and occasional prototypes for sale at my studio. Some of the work featured in my studio acts more as a model for potential pieces someone may want to commission for themselves,” he said.

“With almost any furniture piece, my goal is to find the perfect balance between form and function. When searching for the right slab or the right stump for a project, I often find myself changing the design around the natural shape of the wood. Utilizing cracked slabs, twisted stumps and live edges to not only create a unique and aesthetically pleasing thing to look at but a completely functional and useful piece of furniture/art,” says Waterfall.

As for his paintings and doodles, they serve as an outlet to his emotions. More like “journal entries.”

“The woodwork is what I do right and precisely … The artwork is what I don’t care to do right,” he said.

Waterfall plans to have a holiday sale this November and December featuring a collection of different kitchen/home goods as well as original art and prints. Stay updated at http://markwaterfall.com and on Instagram @waterfall_mark.

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