flight 1

I've had this piece in various stages now for several years (and to be honest it is still missing black washers where each of the glass vials joins the wooden sphere to hide the hole edges) but I've brought it to enough completion to show it as finished for now. 

Someone who has an opinion I value thinks it should be hung and it might be eventually. For now it is enough to title it Flight 1 and leave it open as to whether it will be a series of pieces eventually.

It is constructed from a poplar wood sphere, 50 glass vials filled with cuttings from parrot feathers, and wire for the legs and is about 16" in diameter.

Much thanks to Creative Reuse in Pittsburgh for getting in such interesting laboratory glass bits and bobs for me to work with. You can't quite see in the photos but there is a thin gold line painted one the neck of each vial.


tables tables tables

trying to get some better photos of my recent tables shot. hard thing. i really need a large room with a seamless all. but for now ....

this one is my newest and is made out of cherry, canarywood and maple. the bottommost photo shows the cherry grain color switch which becomes a chamfer at the bottom of the leg. this leg actually drove the proportions for the chamfers because i liked how it met the corner. bit of a different table top but i am trying out some new forms. this one measures 34" x 23" x 31"h

slightly older but still newish - maple and oak with a great split knot on one end. 46" x 8.5" x 33"h

and lastly an older one with slightly better photos. padauk, oak and found legs


the false grandmother

This piece, begun on World Book Day, was an attempt to coalesce a story into its essence, creating a object (and it seems maybe I am now doing a set of piece based on folk stories) but one in which there is still a serial narrative (much like a 3 panel comic strip).

In this case, the story is The False Grandmother, the antecedent to Little Red Riding Hood.

The piece is constructed from pine (painted and aged), moss, crab apples, pinecones, pine needles, a robin's egg, stones, fur and brass hardware. It measures 14.5" x 3.5" x 3.5"h

Quite proud of some of the details on this, especially the correspondence between the robin's egg and stones of similar size and how each vignette in its own nest. The pine needles smell so there is a scent component to it as well upon opening.

the knot on the front of the box was deliberately placed there as a symbol for the horror in the original tale, now sanitized and safe for the wee ones.


impractical vessels

a brief study on a Sunday for some glass vessels integrated wooden parts

thinking about some tea cups along these lines 

cherry, oak, brass knob and glass vessels


folklore - completed

Unlike my other narrative objects which often involve a lot of science and research which imbue the objects with an extra layer of information, this piece is purely for the joy of making a beautiful object.

Folklore - 9"wide x 9" deep by 18" high - contains moss, found objects, parrot and bluejay feathers, leaves and plant seed pods, copper leaf, acacia blackthorns, plywood shavings, oak and (I think) birch.

I named the piece Folklore because the forms and elements remind me of the darker corners of some fairy tales and folk stories told late at night to small children in their beds. The body of the creature is built out of blackthorn branches wired together, covered in moss and then the doll head and arm were attached. 

The small drawer is lined with copper leaf and contains two seed pods with yellow seeds which tie back to the color on the rings of yellow leaves on top. 

The parrot and bluejay feathers, with their gem-like greens, blues and reds were chosen for their bold color.

The piece really has no deep thinking behind it. It was built simply with reactions and experience of making art for many years. It is what it appears to be, it is up to the viewer to create their own meaning.


the measure of ritual - completed

After a year and a half the final lens was found and this narrative object - The Measure of Ritual - is now complete.

The piece grows out of watching the BBC series - Time Team - and the clearinghouse term Ritual which is used seeming when paleontologists/archaeologists can't figure out the utilitarian purpose for an object/monument/seemingly made by man thing. Ritual in the ancestor of what becomes organized religion from what I understand.

The two structures under the glass domes represent dolmens and a henge which are early worship structures. The figure is the 'everyman' the proto human who we, as the godlike observer, can view through the magnifying lenses.

The reindeer horn represents the bone objects often found which seem to be both tool and signifying object.

The viewer is the god being, the scientist, the observer who can study these objects in detail, though in an encapsulated form, removed by time from their once-understood meaning. We can look and speculate but may never fully understand.

For now this piece will reside in my library. Hopeful for an eventual gallery show of pieces in my 'measurement' series. Next up for me is finishing the next narrative object - The Measure of Love

the requisite funny story - the lenses used in this piece only come up on EBay every six months or so. I had been waiting and waiting for the final one because I wanted them to match. One day I was watching a Jimmy DiResta video on YouTube. He was visiting a favorite antique store of his and as the camera pans over the store while he is browsing, lo and behold, my missing lens. So I contacted the store and eventually got a hold of the right dealer and she sold me the lens. 


Handmade Wheel of Fortune

I've been sitting on photos of this project for a few weeks now until I was sure the recipient received her copy. I've wanted to get back to doing handmade books of favorite stories I do not have in printed form. I did the cover of this story for the Netherlands translated printing of it - The Wheel of Fortune by Steph Swainston - but do not have the anthology it appeared in in english.

Pine covers with concertina folded pages, nearly 15 feet long when unfolded. An edition of two - one for her and one for me.

next book to tackle is this one - http://www.tor.com/2014/08/20/seven-commentaries-on-an-imperfect-land-ruthanna-emrys/

well worth your time to read


Aftermath now available

I've recently published another book with the author Steph Swainston titled Aftermath. This picks up on the narrative in her new novel Fair Rebel and also has more behind the scenes background info on the Fourlands. She is a wonderful and compelling writer. The book is available unsigned as well as in a limited signed and numbered version.

Looking forward to doing more books with her.



Just back from a trip to Iceland. We could only stay a few days and already long to go back. It is a wonderfully sparse country with some very nice people. Greatly enjoyed driving and having none of the visual clutter we have in the US. Instead just mountains and plains and oceans and trees and silence, lots and lots of glorious silence.

Here are my photos. Click to embiggen!


Golden Circle - Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Hot Springs, Gullfoss

(seal in the water)

Borgarnes to Snaefellsjokull National Park

Borgarnes to Reykjavík