Wolfgang Finger whose friends call him Wolf, was born in East Germany in 1946. At the age of Four, he and his family escaped to West Germany. He later immigrated to the United States in 1957.
Wolf is a man skilled in many things. He is a stone mason, artist, stained glass designer and finally, a wood carver. Although he is an expert in each of these endeavors, in this treatise we are primarily interested in his skill as a woodcarver. To understand the whole man, however, I think it is necessary to briefly look at his other fields of expertise.
At the tender age of 7 he was already showing a leaning toward art as he created small clay figures of nursery rhyme characters which were exhibited in the school hallways. Not yet into the use of paint and brush, he created his characters by the use of various colored clays. As he reached his teens he had acquired skill in painting and cartooning. Some years later his cartooning was improved by a mail order course and residency course at an institute of fine arts in Philadelphia. He has had cartoons published in local papers.
Wolf accepted an invitation of a carving friend to attend a wood carving show. He couldn’t believe what he saw. As he left the show he had several bird carving blanks clutched in his hands and a sense of adventure in his heart.
He chose bird carving because he always felt close to nature and lived in the country most of his life. He has spent a great deal of time in the woods studying birds, observing them close up to become familiar with their feathering and coloring.
His miniature birds have been described as exquisite. A recent Banded King Fischer took a first place and a grey Falcon took second place in the prestigious Ward Foundation World Competition Show at Ocean City, Maryland. His latest project is two miniature whooping cranes executing their mating dance. Although he has accomplished many things, Wolf’s nature is not to get into a rut but to accept new challenges.
He has appeared with Edie Huggins on Channel 10 Philadelphia and has been featured in newspapers, articles, and in national woodcarving magazines. He has directed and produced two carving videos, one on a Chikadee, the other on a Baltimore Oriole.
Many of his pieces of art are in private collections, Two reside with Paul Stankerd, World renown Glass Artist (Paper weight flame-worker). He recently illustrated a book for Bruce Daniels, a world renown horse shoe farrier. The book is called, “Just Another Day on the Farm”.
My new challenge is to take you through space via reverse glass painting. I have always enjoyed working with glass and to be able to use this medium to experience the magnitude of the universe and its cosmos is truly humbling.
My intent is not so much authenticity, but an artistic expression of the endless beauty that is to be seen in the multitude of galaxies. The beauty of planets, nebulae, suns, stars, supernovas, and the vast pictures that are created by their movement, collisions, birth, and death. This is an artistic adventure that I will be on for the rest of my life.
Wolf also worked at the Philadelphia Zoo as a zookeeper and then in the exhibits department, one of the jobs he enjoyed the most. Wolf states, “art has always been natural for me where time is lost in the experience of creating joy and contentment is found within the finished projects. I try not to put too much intellectual meaning into my art by allowing the beauty and natural forms and paintings to do the talking. I hope that those who see this work will enjoy the creations as much as I have enjoyed creating them.”