Something Scrolled

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Inside Business Track: Something Scrolled
Local Artists Growing Wood Art Business
By Chad Neal

Something Scrolled Wood Art is a small business based in West Valley by proprietor Emily Arena. Her craft is using a scroll saw to fashion wood signs and decorative folk art. She opened the business some years ago with her husband Andrew and has been striving to perfect her craft ever since. Her work is seen all over now with the elegant three-dimensional signs she designs. Right on Washington Street in Ellicottville one can see her work. She fashioned the signs in front of Katy’s Cafe, Tips Up and Madigan’s along with the large sign on the back patio at Madgan’s. She also made signs for EVL Lodge and is working on décor for the business as well. Along with the woodwork and crafts she also sells baked goods and other edible products.

The Villager caught up with her and asked her about the history and where she was inspired to follow this endeavor. She replied in an e-mail: “I grew up on a farm, close to my Grandparents, my Grandfather was a wood mizer… I was often in the mill with him learning the various species…gaining an education on the graining and figures that are unique to different places. As I got older and more into art, I developed a passion for exotic wood and excitement for creating specialty pieces out of variant natural colors, using techniques that are not seen often. Andrew and I opened Something Scrolled after we had our daughter, we wanted a side hobby that we could use together for extra income and we had lots of fun bouncing ideas around and developing great pieces for local clients and sent many works over seas and across the country.”

“A few years ago a good friend, Bob McCarthy, asked for assistance in an Americana Festival. ‘Come and make something,’ he said and continued, ‘how about a lemonade stand for your daughter too!…oh and some pies?’”

He brainstormed this idea for me to create a Lemonade Stand, bring my saw and items to the festival and of course about 50 pies that we sold out of with various other goodies. So thankful that it sparked the cottage that we placed at the homestead…I am licensed through NYS to bake pies and cakes, make caramels and fudge, and jams and jellies all sold in the shop at various times through the year. My great friend Ann who I met through Bob McCarthy has helped me keep the interest and is building her own local shop for her works as well. It was always about starting a trend. Getting other local artists together to enjoy their craft”

The Villager pried a bit more info from Emily Arena about her craft and what is about, staring with asking about the “scroll saw”. She answered thusly: “A scroll saw is a finishing saw used for detailed work. The blades are very thin, which makes it perfect for sawing small pieces. I also carve and burn wood pieces and have carved antler as well. I love any and all natural canvases.

This year I have done work for several establishments in Ellicottville, EVL Spirits, Adventure Bound, Madigan’s and am currently working on signs for EVL Lodge and some local residents.”

When asked about her favorite projects Arena wrote, “I have so many projects that I loved…recently the antler carvings have been favorites, but I worked with a rare wood called Waterfall Bubinga that I used for a bench at a local residence. It was a unique experience watching the color of the wood brighten when I was working it through was amazing!”

“The waterfall carving that is pictured is made of many various woods from all over the world, in my mind a vision of a scene in Washington State. I created the piece to be the front of a hidden gun wall mount. I love it, the natural colors are bold and rare.”

When asked about the future of her craft Arena answered, “ I plan to continue working on wood pieces for local clients, baking pies and cakes from scratch, using my Grandmother’s recipes with local ingredients. The little gift shop, just off Route 240 on Roszyk Hill in West Valley, just outside Ellicottville will continue to be packed with unique pieces from myself and other artists.

Emily is currently working at Adventure Bound on the Fly managing the merchandise, preparing to guide tours through the forest and waterways in 2017, and educating folks about the environment and keeping them aware of the beauty around us in conjunction with creating distinctive pieces from natural elements. In the future I plan to develop workshops for youngsters and encourage youth in the area to engage in such art and activities.”

The young and aspiring artist and craftsperson Emily Arena has made her creations well known in the area. For more information or custom pieces give her a call at 716-353-0193 or check out the facebook page Something Scrolled Wood Art.

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