It’s been a while since I’ve written anything new. A few years. But I’m excited to have completed a new website. Some of the same content is here, but it’s an all new layout. It’s still a work in progress; I’m planning on adding more new content in the days, weeks, months ahead. Stay tuned.
I constantly think about and analyze what I make, what I should make, what I want to make. I've tried and taken pride in adding more/different/better (?) details and/or ideas. At heart, I am a woodworker. But not that kind of woodworker. I'm not the kind who focuses on super precision and knows all the terminology for every aspect of woodworking. I do precise work when I have to and I know the terms I need to know. I do that without thinking about it. If it works then I'm doing it right. But I'd prefer to make, and focus on, beautiful/flowing/lively pieces that are visually appealing attention grabbers and thought provokers. I improvise in the process, using any tools or materials which get the results I'm trying to achieve. Trying because sometimes I don't know what I'm trying to get until the piece is finished.
I'm drawn to 3 dimensional objects. I love objects. I've always loved ceramics and ceramic objects. But most any material will do. Shapes, textures, colors, contrasts, patterns all call to me. And, I love LOVE abstract paintings. I don't know exactly when that started, but every time I see an abstract piece I'm fascinated. Shapes, combinations of shapes, lines, color, blocks of color, hand drawn lines. And intricate little details within. Symmetrical, asymmetrical, all of it. And the fact that I like these abstract pieces, 2D or 3D, is an abstract concept in itself.
I've not taken the time, always something else to work on. But in addition to everything else I make, I want to create things. Things which have origins in and inspired by the objects and paintings I'm drawn to and love. A blend of collage and abstract painting made from wood (and perhaps other materials TBD; found objects, or materials I leave in the weather for a year to see what happens to them?) It's exciting and intimidating and frustrating and even energy building to add to my repertoire. I'm starting with what I know. Throwing things together, trying to loosen up my work and myself at the same time. I've done little bits of this in furniture, but have not really allowed myself to make "art". It's a fuzzy, out of focus, abstract idea. I'm working fast, there are no mistakes, I'm experimenting as I work, and not sure how far I'll go or what I'll have in the end. Or even when the end will happen and pieces will be finished. I'll know it when I see it. I want to enjoy getting there (I'll say that again) I want to enjoy getting there. I want to create more things. And I want to create more things to do. I want to look back at my body of work and see pieces going in a lot of different directions and at the same time interacting with each other. Objects will inform functional pieces which will inform objects. I've finished a piece (see image above). It's a step in the right direction. I like to look back at, and study pieces I've made. I need this piece so I have something to respond to for the next one. It's a paradox. Just under the surface is where my ideas live. If I look too much, plan too much, they disappear. So I can't look too long. I'll let this piece rest a bit before I make another one. I'm curious about what will happen next. But I finally started.
I've written about how "I can't not make things". Right now I'm completely engrossed in makeing "little stuff", the type of pieces I made when I was working as a teacher with a wood shop available to me, (the only reason I was a teacher) almost 30 years ago... I need to stop here and say I'm not really sentimental, I have a few things from my past I like to think about, but I prefer to live in the present… So doing my work (well it's not really "work", for me it's somewhere between physical labor and a satisfying hobby. Most days anyway) is one way I communicate with my dad. (He would have been 95 years old a few days ago.) It's not a great spiritual channeling, but a nice little conversation. And it's only here and there. Sorry, I need to stop again and explain...he had an interesting combination of unconnected creative and mechanical skills, which thankfully (and luckily, [because I can't or don't want to do anything else] I inherited, at least some of them. And I would not make things for a living if it wasn't for him)...I have returned to my past in a way, I've spent the last few weeks making little bowls on my lathe. The same things I did when I started woodworking as a kid, with my dad.
But, in the process, a part on the machine which had been gradually wearing out, finally completely gave out and needed to be replaced. An odd-sized, hard to find bolt. That kind of repair was his specialty, not really mine. But with a little searching I found the bolt, I fixed my little lathe, (the backbone of my "maker of things" life) and went back to work. It was so completely satisfying. I still feel like the kid who wants to call his dad to help him fix things. It would have been fun to tell him I did it. Something as simple to fix as replacing a bolt.