I have been trying to add more sculptural components to my work this year. I joined the Northeast Florida Sculptors and went to a workshop on traditional sculpture to get some ideas. However, when I heard that The Art Center was going to be doing their “Inter-dimensional” show, combining photography and sculpture, I felt it was time to stop thinking about doing some sculpture and actually doing some sculpture.
I had been thinking about some of these ideas for some time, then I was able to get quite a bit of fresh maple and had the raw material to start. Several months ago I started a new approach to my turning, ie. creating hollow disks from green wood that would become a canvas for my work. I’ve been calling these shapes “lentils” and used them fro my City Sounds show entries. I wanted to use these shapes again, but in a more sculptural way.
The first piece I created is called “A Question of Balance”, composed of five lentils. My goal here was to create a piece that reminded me of balanced rocks, which apparently are being held in place by the texture on the lentils. I chose to make five different textures, since it takes all kinds to achieve balance. Three of the pieces I used pyrography to create a texture into the wood, each piece with a unique pattern. Two of the piece I used acrylic medium to give a positive texture. I unified the piece by painting it all black.
The piece is 18” tall by 12” in diameter
My second piece was another idea that had been floating around some time incorporating bent laminated ash with another large “lentil”. I had created some bend laminated music stands as gifts last year and felt I could utilize that approach to create a stand to highlight an embellished lentil.
I used ash as the wood for the frame, since I knew that with it’s open pores, using liming wax would add a unique treatment and add some contrast to the frame. Tom Grzybala from the Turning Arts Group uses this technique on some of his turnings and gave me all the tips I needed. Since I had already created a complex lentil as the feature, I knew the dimensions for the frame. I built a mold, cut and thickness sanded many thin strip of ash, then glued and bent the wood on the mold to give me the curve I wanted. Once everything was set, finished and sanded, I dyed the frame a dark blue black to highlight white liming wax that was used to emphasize the grain. Once the frame was created it was on to the main lentil and a small complimentary lentil for embellishment. The lentils were textures with acrylic gel medium and then painted with a series of metallic paints. Gold metal leaf was also added and a large square, on the large lentil, was carved into the surface and they textured with pyrography. The addition of the square was to create a “Gods Eye” kind of motif, which named the piece – “Blue God’s Eye”. It’s one of my larger pieces, 22″ tall by 18″ wide.
The third piece is a whimsical piece. I’ve been doing so many hollow forms I though that I could make a hollow egg, but rather than just leave it at that, I decided to add the bird exiting the egg.
I hollowed the piece and figured out how to add a shelf for the bird’s beak to sit on. The egg was then texturized and painted with acrylic and a lignum vitae beak added as well as a hard pear base. This one was a lot of fun to make. This one is called “Hello”
My first forays into sculpture have been fun and I enjoyed the process a lot. It’s clear that the “lentils” have given me a great building block to expand the kind of work I have been doing. My next lentil piece will be my biggest and is currently under construction – a wall hanging for the St. John’s River show that will be displayed at the Jaxport Gallery in September.
Please come and see the above sculptures at The Art Center’s inter-Dimensional show at the Premier Gallery at Bank of America Tower, starting with the reception the afternoon of August 25.