Monday, June 22, 2015

Artist Talk...

I was recently contacted about giving an Artist Talk to a local arts organization. It didn't take much to convince me, especially after the organizer mentioned I would be paid a honorarium for my efforts. I then began work on developing on a comprehensive power point slide show of the evolution of my furniture, wood sculpture, and wood art. Gathering all the photos and information of a six year period was probably the largest challenge. It was then a matter of piecing everything together in chronological order with notes and talking points for each slide.

There was a period of two years where I would create elaborate scale models of furniture to determine their appeal, I enjoyed talking about this period. I have since embraced CAD design and most of my design work originates on a computer with small maquettes created afterwards. Creating the scale models of furniture, many of which became sculptural work, was a prolific, exciting time for me. I began to experiment with combining alternative mediums to wood over this two year period.

Technical considerations such as how to attach metal to wood and how to attach glass to metal came up. The issue of expansion and contraction is somewhat different with extremely stable material such as metal and glass. Metal and glass don't noticeably expand or contract with environmental changes such as wood does. Another interesting technical issue that came up was the lack of a compression characteristic in metal. The slots or holes which I use to insert metal components need to be created very precisely for precision fitting. 

Working with metal also involves slightly different tools and processes. I don't even prepare the metal components in the work space I work with wood to not contaminate wood with metal filings. Once these issues were overcome, the design possibilities available to me were unlimited. The media I previously created my designs with was somewhat limited to different types of wood; domestic, exotic and figured. Today I can incorporate metal, glass and possibly stone in my work, along with my predominant medium of wood.