Will Kautz began his artistic training as a young boy. His father was a fine artist in New York and creativity was an important part of his home environment. He remembers sculpting marble beside his dad when he was just a child. But as a young man, Will was often torn between a drive to be creative and a desire to do something for the vulnerable in society.
In 1980 he entered seminary and earned an M.A. in theology and ethics and was later appointed as a Research Fellow at Yale University. In 1985 he began full-time law school with a young family and little money. At this time Will began to carve. Initially, he hoped merely to pay a few tuition bills with whatever he could earn from his art but within a few weeks his designs began to sell as quickly as he could produce them.
The first year law student would study by day and carve by night. Three years later, Will completed law school and passed the Vermont bar exam. For the next ten years, Will maintained a volunteer law practice for victims of domestic violence while supporting his family with his art.
Through the years, Will has sold his work to numerous galleries and collectors around the world. His art has been displayed at the Museum of American Folk Art, the Shelburne Museum, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and has also been chosen by Early American Homes magazine for its annual Directory of America’s Best Traditional Craftsmen.
Each of Will’s pieces finds its roots in 19th century American folk art. From those traditional examples, he applies his own contemporary twist with clean lines and paint application, giving each piece a look that fits in with any type of home decor.