One of my explorations for the past two years has been what I
loosely call "tubes"; upright, cylindrical objects, some with
bottoms and some without. As with all my work, the interplay
between form and the wood structure is key to energy of the piece.
Further enhancing this
relation I have textured
each piece -- either mildly (such as this one) or severely blasting through the
wall such as my skeleton tubes. Some have received further
contrast using pigments to differentiate the textures the soft and hard wood yielded
from sandblasting the surface.
This piece is a "transition tube" --
I'll explain. Almost completely shaped on the lathe it required
several axes of turning, then some off lathe blending. During the
creation process, the effort felt too complicated and contrived -- I
was too focused on the process and being clever using the lathe to
produce the unusual form, rather than on the form itself. It was
largely an intellectual process, rather than my preferred emotional
Upon reflection I came to
realize that to better pursue this form and other ideas I had in
mind, especially on larger scales, I would have to
away from the lathe in favor of other methods. After all, the lathe
is just one approach, or process, to creating wooden vessels and
objects. Intrigued by this more sculptural approach I
have devoted a major portion of my time this last year to chasing ideas and
refining techniques for working on a large scale with this and other vessel shapes not possible on the lathe.
Part of the fascination for me with the tubes is the exploration of
the energy in how the tubes sit, the size and angle of the "mouth",
and the contribution of extra life by the "bend" of the tube.
Small differences can greatly affect the overall dynamic impact: where
I place the bend, the nature and degree of distortion,
the overall angle, the grain and how it relates to
the change in direction and size, etc. With its dramatic
vertical dimension, the tube offers me new and fresh territories in
my quest for developing a sensitivity to possible conversations
between form and natural structure.
I have long
been influenced by Japanese art and this piece has a strong
Wabi Sabi quality that I enjoy. I chose to include the ring shake
in the "behind" of the tube as well as the many small cracks and
imperfections that were already present in the wood -- each
contributing character and interest of their own. Even the color of
the ribs varies depending on the angle viewed, due to the
"imperfection" of wood as a sculpture medium.