Yuri Zieman’s lifelong passion for woodcarving began with a childhood fascination with the traditional wooden architecture of his native northern Russia. He learned the intricate patterns and techniques of local craftsmen and practiced woodcarving as a hobby while earning a PhD in computer science. During a remarkable career that resulted in his emigration to the United States in 1988, Yuri earned a U.S. patent for one of his many software innovations and has another pending, but today he is concentrating on his longtime love: the art of woodcarving.
Yuri’s own special niche is improvising with text, carving names, initials, dates, citations or graphic symbols that reflect the special interests of his subjects. Whether a small pencil box or large, complex outdoor sign, Yuri’s work is personal and designed to capture the profession, history, family, achievement or character of a specific individual or couple. He creates objects that become keepsakes, whether celebrating a wedding, birthday or anniversary or marking another of life's milestones. An internationalist by nature, Yuri carves in many woods and languages, using the alphabets or characters of English, Russian, French, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Sanskrit, and Georgian.