Sandra Michalik

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Being an artist is the last thing I thought I would be doing at this point in my life. I spent my career at The University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Public School System and have a Master’s Degree in Special Education and a Doctorate in Educational Administration. Eventually, I volunteered to help with my daughter’s inventory at AuSable Artisan Village. Little did I know how much I would come to love the art community and how deeply I’d become involved in creating my own pieces.

I initially made large trees, over 5 ft. tall. The more I made, the more intrigued I became at all of the possibilities. I now make trees between 5 inches and 10 feet, as well as candles, ornaments, wall hangings and suet feeders. I love running and walking and it allows me to search for and collect downed timber. The look of my work is continuously being refined. I am experimenting with different types of wood and finishes. The satin and glossy enamels work great for indoor pieces, but spar varnish is necessary for outdoor trees.

There is something very therapeutic about sawing, drilling and sanding. I am surprised at the joy and satisfaction I find in the creative process as well as my interactions with customers- a wonderful turn of events in my retirement years!