Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Custom art...

As I discussed in my previous post, I was working on a couple of custom jewelry chests which have now been completed. I have posted a photo of one of the completed jewelry chests below. A while ago I had the opportunity to receive a challenging commission. This commission consisted of a fairly large wall art installation. The overall dimensions arrived at were approximately 8 ft wide and 32 inches high. The wall art was intended to be the focal point of a long wall in the living area of a home. The clients wanted something different and interesting, in a modern, contemporary style. Through a few exchanges of sketches and drawings with the clients, we arrived at a design the client was very happy with.

The initial step after the design process was to create a maquette or small scale model of the art. This is something I enjoy doing as it is fairly straightforward and provides a fairly accurate representation and 3-D view of the art. Otherwise, I am limited to perspective drawings which are great but limited in accurately representing the depth and relationship of components within the art. The initial maquette developed from initial sketches is above and we worked from this to refine the design. It can be seen that there are more tubular components in this maquette than in the next photo. The next photo represents the woods selected as well as some of the components necessary to attach the woods together to create the design. The clients were seeking a fairly unique piece of art for their wall and we decided on unusual woods for the larger components. This choice of wood was ash with intense spalting. The middle wood was bocote which served to contrast well with the very light, spalted ash top and bottom pieces. The dark bocote also brought the dark streaks in the spalted ash together in the art.

 The orientation of the pieces and the resulting offset layout form the basis for the modern, contemporary design. Offsetting the outside pieces allowed the components to span a greater width while forming the unique design. The design itself is kind of light and accentuates the negative space of the wall itself. The art is not smothering the wall but instead forms a series of light components joined together very minimally with tubular metal.

To the left is a photo of one of the completed jewelry chests I had the opportunity to work on very recently. The mahogany exterior has developed a beautiful colour quite naturally. I don't use stain and simply prepare and finish the mahogany. The mahogany colour will deepen slightly more over time further developing the classic reddish-brown colour often associated with mahogany. The cherry interior has also developed a nice tone. The contrasting wenge handles, through careful grain selection, become black with application of finish.

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