Jimmy Carter’s Hand on Display at Woodworking Show

Escondido’s annual woodworking show, Wood, A Furniture Show, kicked off on Saturday with a reception for the public. The exhibit is hosted at the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery on East Grand Avenue in Escondido, California. This year, it includes exhibits of handcrafted furniture, as well as a bronze sculpture of President Jimmy Carter’s left hand.

“Teamwork”, a bronze and wood sculpture by San Diego-based woodworker and artist Russ Filbeck, is the focal point of the exhibition. The sculpture consists of two bronze hands carefully shaping a wooden chair leg with a drawknife, a woodworking hand tool. The right hand is a bronze cast of President Jimmy Carter’s hand, while the left hand is a cast of Filbeck’s hand. The president, a dedicated woodworker and cabinetmaker, provided his left hand for three different sculptures. In 2017, one version of the piece was sold for $100,000 at auction.

Filbeck also collaborated with President Carter on a set of dining room chairs in 2015. After completing the project, he was inspired to create a sculpture to commemorate their partnership and “Teamwork” was born. The bronze casts were formed by Dick and Brandon Roy of the Veterans Art Project, a non-profit organization in California that offers free bronze casting lessons to military veterans. Filbeck deliberately chose to cast the president’s left hand, as that is the hand that features his wedding ring.

Wood, A Furniture Show is hosted by Murphy’s Fine Woodworking and the San Diego Fine Woodworking Association. The exhibit includes pieces from more than 20 different artisans and will run through February 3.