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Shaun Roberto

born 1993, Cache, Oklahoma

Although Shaun has a BS degree in aquatic ecology and fisheries management from Oklahoma State University, he took only one art course in high school. Though art didn’t interest him at the time, he now believes the class instilled confidence to explore his creative side during a time of grief. Shaun discovered his love for woodworking from a high school technical education class. During the COVID pandemic, he got his first idea to make something from wood. Since then, his ideas and his desire have not diminished.

Shaun gives each piece of wood time. He waits for it to speak to him and then he tries to listen and oblige its wishes. Because Shaun never wants to harm or damage a living tree, he harvests his wood from naturally downed trees around Lake Lawtonka. He says street curbs are another good source for his stockpile, especially after a good Oklahoma wind storm.

Shaun prefers to work with a wood lathe and keep things simple. He believes that even with a lifetime of practice, he couldn’t recreate nature’s way of making each piece decay differently. Therefore, much of his work presents gentle curves and angles that accentuate the way light naturally reflects off the wood grain. Shaun also will incorporate "happy accidents" into his creations. When, for example, his entire stockpile caught fire, he emphasized the beautifully textured cracks on the wood’s charred surface.

Shaun is uninterested in being represented by a gallery or shown in art exhibits. He thinks of himself as more a wood worker than an artist and would like to earn his living from this occupation. Ever since he showed the first piece to family and friends, he’s received encouragement and accolades. This year his work has started selling and he’s gaining recognition.  Shaun is a full-time Visionary wood worker.

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