Tony Klepic



Tony has spent the past 30 years working for Fairfax County Public Schools as a teacher and then IT manager.  He is also a product of Fairfax County and except for his years in undergrad school has lived in the Northern Virginia area his entire life.  His passion for woodworking has always been there, but really took off when he began building furniture for his wife and children.  From there the leftovers and cutoffs from those projects allowed him to make smaller crafts.  A midi-lathe as a birthday gift 6 years ago opened his eyes to the pure joy of woodturning.  Now Tony creates beautiful items in both flat wood, and turned objects.

Tony is currently showing his work in four galleries in the Northern Virginia area, but also welcomes commission work.  “I love commission pieces!  The biggest joy of woodworking for me is to work with a customer to bring their vision to reality.  The look of ‘Wow!  Tony, you really hit the mark,’ is priceless to me.”

Artist statement:  The focus of my work is to create beautiful pieces made from wood without buying it from a lumber yard or specialty store.  There is a tremendous amount of wood that can be found through various methods without having to putting further pressure on forests.  Sure, I am only one artist.  So how much could I use? Well, let’s just call it a personal challenge to not buy wood.  Most of my work comes from reclaimed lumber, lumber bought at estate sales, or FOG wood (Found On the Ground).  If I don’t grab it, it just ends up in a landfill.  Practically all of my bowls and small turned items are made from downed trees that would otherwise end up on the landfill.

I enjoy all woodworking, but turning is truly therapeutic.  Feeling the tool peel the wood away when turning a project is great therapy, and watching a design evolve is truly inspiring.  There is something in woodturning that is creatively freeing.  There are no rules when it comes to shape or design, which makes it free from constraints.  A nice release from the constraints and stress of everyday life.  All of my pieces are like snowflakes; no two are alike.  Each piece is a unique item that I can only “try” to duplicate.  Each piece of wood has its own story to come out.  I let the wood tell me what it’s supposed to be.