Sunday, February 26, 2017

Episode 4: A New Beginning

If you don't follow me on instagram (it's like blogging with a dash of attention deficit disorder) than you might have missed some of the goings on lately, so I'll try to catch you up!

I spent four months as a resident artist at SUNY Purchase, which is a college just north of White Plains, New York. It was a fantastic experience getting to have time to create whatever I wanted and interact with a group of wonderful young people. I had minimal teaching requirements, just a few hours a week and found myself exploring ideas that would be tough to do in my normal shop time.
I made sculptures, chairs, and chairs that were somewhat sculptural!

Here are some images of the pieces from the exhibit at the end of my time there. Here is a rocker that I made.


 I was playing with some ideas, trying to convey a sense of tension between the parts, treating the posts and legs like tent poles (with some subtle details to add to the effect) and the crest, seat and spindles and arms seem to stretch and drape over them. I've always enjoyed the way that classic Windsors show tension and thought I'd push it a little.

When I first arrived at the school, I was frankly a bit burnt out from making lots of chairs to fulfill all my obligations while clearing 4 months of my calendar. There were a bunch of discarded logs outside the studio, so I started splitting and carving them to make it look like there were objects embedded in them. If you've ever split a log, you know that moment of discovery when it is finally in half and you can see what you got. I always thrill at this moment and enjoyed the thought of these objects meeting me there.





 Here is a bench that I made in Butternut and White Oak. The high spots on the carved seat are akin to the pommel on a seat, so you can sit in lots of positions, kind of like my perches.
 The is a bit of a departure. I have a bunch of lovely curly ambrosia maple planks, but as you can imagine, it doesn't come into play much in my chair work. So I wondered how I might find interest in it without just stuffing it into a box form. This thin plank cupped and warped a lot, so I took the challenge to join two pieces with dovetails. It required lots of head scratching and scribing as the planks are rough sawn not uniform in any way. I really liked the way it came out. It looks very different from every angle.
 Here is again, looking full of volume.
Here you can see the rough sawn texture competing with the curly maple, it makes for a lovely surface
 I could go on and on about all the different stuff, probably wearing your patience thin with my "artistic" works. Suffice it to say, we all need to play sometimes to clear out the cobwebs and I surely did that.
At opening, I was lucky enough to have my good friend Jon Binzen, from Fine Woodworking, join me for a conversation about the work. It was an honor and a pleasure. 

There's lot more that's happened since I disappeared, but for now, I will leave you with this, my new pup Georgia! She's a rescue from, yes, Georgia and is about 1 year old. She was part of a hoarding situation and surrendered to the shelter with 10 other dogs. She has very little exposure to the world but she is sweet and bold enough to test it out. With some support, I see her blossoming into an epic companion.

And of course a great shop dog!
 She has the lovely spirit of my dear Lil and I am beyond overjoyed to be with her.





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