When we visited Maggieʼs Farm in Fayette, Maine, we were surprised to see that it was not a Farm at all, but a secluded shingled structure nestled in the woods. Surrounded by tall elegant pines, we began by chatting briefly about David Pollock’s background as well as his business partner’s, Andrew Mott. They eagerly welcomed us into their studio space where David began to focus on his work at hand, sanding a rough wood spoon to a smooth finish and letting us witness first hand the process used to create each unique piece. Reserved, yet welcoming, we could instantly tell this creative space was a second home to them both. Every inch of this simple wooden haven is utilized to hold a wide variety of essential wares – shelving loaded with boxes of knives, chisels and gauges, alongside heavy, mounted machinery – used to create their elegantly stunning, yet useful works of art.
David grew up in Biddeford, Maine as an only child to a mother struggling to get by with state support, but not lacking in love. “We were relatively poor, although I never felt that way.” In his younger years, when David wasn’t in school, he was busy creating. “As a child, I always loved making a mess with my imagination.” His mother harnessed this energy by putting him in the Boy Scouts where he earned dozens of merit badges, gravitating towards those focused on woodworking. “Counselors in the Scouts taught me how to carve. It was, of course, pretty basic stuff.” Although woodworking remained a staple in his life, he shelved it to a mere hobby, choosing instead a career in social work for over a decade after college.
The allure of his craft and the yearning to live true to his passion, however, eventually won over, and propelled David to take up wood working full time. In an effort to attract Baby Boomers and like-minded collectors, he named his company Maggieʼs Farm, after the Bob Dylan song of the same name. “My first pieces were Maine-themed animals, like bears, moose, and some birds. They were all fairly elementary sculptures.” While peddling his wares at a Freeport gallery, David struck up a friendship with the proprietor who eventually taught him how to use more time-efficient tools such as belt sanders and pneumatic sanders, to replace hand carving. The result not only garnered business efficiency, but a more polished and exquisite look for his pieces. This gave David the freedom to create a wider variety of sculptures, such as lamps, clocks, and vases, as well as some utensils, opening the door to what would ultimately become the staples of his present collection.
In the mid-eighties, David focused his energies on designing intricate flowers that were often mistaken for the actual blossom. These spectacular creations were lauded by discerning art collectors in New York and Washington, DC, cumulating in a multi-window display at Tiffany & Co.ʼs New York City flagship store in 1985. This level of exposure, however, was not for David. With it’s competition and inflated egos, David knew the big city art game would eventually lead him away from the reason he became a wood worker in the first place. “It’s never been about the money. It’s about the life-style, and living honestly with who you are.”
The process begins with Maine native woods, such as black cherry, applewood, sugar maple, and birdseye maple. Starting first with a rudimentary knife carving, David shapes each handmade piece in his studio with help from his assistants, who each work on a specific task of the process with a guided bandsaw. The finishing touches are then added by David or Andrew with a sand-o-flex wheel and precise hand carving to garner a smooth, refined tactility. “It’s all about the feel,” says Andrew. They know each unique piece is complete when it is beautiful to the eye, smooth to the touch, and useful to the collector.
David Pollock’s works of art take form and function equally into account. These sumptuous pieces are created to be utilized and enjoyed. “Years of thought and design have made them such a joy to use,” says David. “Each piece has it’s own specific purpose, and often at the same time, many uses.”
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