Luce Artist Biography
When John Eric Byers's mother noticed his early interest in working with his hands, she provided him with antique woodworking tools. In college he studied industrial arts but after attending an open house at Wendell Castle School in Scottsville, NY (known for fine woodworking and furniture design), he decided to attend the school with the goal of becoming a studio artist. While he was there, Byers developed his own style of geometric, asymmetrical black-and-white cabinets and benches. Eventually his work evolved to be curvy and colorful while maintaining functionality. Byers experimented with different types of paint but finally settled on milk paint, which is made from clay filler and earth pigment, to create warm-toned mosaic patterns on the surface of his structures. He meticulously hand-carves, paints, sands, and repaints each square in the pattern up to six times to achieve the desired silky texture and opaque color. Since early 2000, Byers has moved away from functional furniture pieces and instead creates wall panels that display his signature mosaic-like surface pattern on red mahogany wood.