Steve Halla was born in 1972 and grew up in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. In 1998, he learned the art of the woodcut under the tutelage of the late sculptor Carl Bindhammer (1940-2006) at the Carving Arts Center in Plano, Texas. In 2006, Steve earned a Ph.D. in Aesthetic Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Today, he and his wife, Kathy, and their two daughters, Evelyn and Cora, live in Jackson, Tennessee, where he serves as a professor of art at Union University.
As an artist, I enjoy exploring issues and ideas related to the human condition. While working under the tutelage of the late sculptor Carl Bindhammer (1940-2006), I developed a deep interest in making single-block, black and white woodcut prints using only a handful of manual carving tools and hand printing techniques. I still work in this same manner today. Stylistically, my goal is to create images that combine the natural qualities of wood with the visual aesthetics of photography.
To make a woodcut print, I follow a three step process. First, I create a design and then transfer it onto the surface of a woodblock. Next, I carve away everything except for the design itself using a few select manual carving tools. Finally, I ink the woodblock’s carved surface, place a single sheet of paper on top of it, apply pressure, and then remove the paper to reveal the final printed image.