8.20.2017

The Romance of the Telescope

My latest narrative object piece takes its title from a song
by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark. 

The main object is a silverleafed stone which sits
balanced on a cherry pedestal under a glass dome.

tRofT is about the romance and wonder of the celestial sphere
and of the objects endlessly orbiting within space.





The piece also has something tangental to do with the OMD song lyrics



See these arms that were broken, how they held you so.
Never once did they fail you, they won't let you go.

We're just waiting looking skyward as the days come down.
Someone promised there'd be answers, if we stayed around.

Over decades, now this romance has sustained us all.
Never questioned, only giving what it made us for.

8.12.2017

today in the garden

within two years my elderberry bush has grown from about 4" high to over 7 feet. today was the first harvest of elderberries i have had. almost like clusters of tiny grapes, these two cups took about an hour to pluck off the branches. I have simmered them with sugar and decanted to bottles of brandy for elderberry cordial. they will now sit for a month in the cupboard to work their magic.




one more fruit to add to the list of all i grow here in the back yard.

today's bouquet




black eyed susans and roses

8.01.2017

all my sorrows were conceived of in a single night

Entitled - "All My Sorrows Were Conceived of in a Single Night" - 
this is my newest narrative object to take a fairy tale as its generator.

The original fairy tale "The Myrtle Tree" by Giambattista Basile is markedly different from the usual Grimm's fairy tales one encounters. 



The piece measures 4" x 3.5" x 4" and is comprised of cherry, brass hardware, moss, myrtle leaves, 
a brass key, a brass bell, marble and copper leafing.

6.12.2017

today's bouquet

roses, rue and hydrangea 

6.10.2017

half table

Constructed of oak with a walnut accent stripe and lacewood, 
this three legged table measures 14" x 24.5" x 28" high. 
Legs are canted 5 degrees.

6.05.2017

constellation table

My newest table measures 11" x 22" x 32" high. The top is pine, apron is poplar and legs are makore, a nicely chocolate colored wood with a stunning ribbon effect. The apron has a small marquetry line of makore in it and the grain wraps all four sides.

5.28.2017

today in the garden




peonies, buttercup, various kinds of roses, chive blossoms, allium, tri colored willow branches, rue





and yesterday - peony season continues

5.27.2017

The Mouth of Celestia

I finally finished the two copy edition of this handmade book today titled:
"The Mouth of Celestia: The Measure of Loss" 

Part of my measurement series of art pieces.

Last year I had gathered weather aged leaves from the cemetery I like to walk in. I was fascinated by how the aging had broken down the cells of the leaves so that they almost appeared to be written on by an unknown hand. An encyclopdia of the universe unreadable/unrecitable.

I wrote the accompanying poem late last year and had the photos printed up yesterday.

7.5" x 11", canson paper, 24 pages with photo prints.

I may yet build boxes for the books to go in and with a small storage space for some of the actual leaves.


5.23.2017

L-table

This table was done mostly to keep myself busy. 
Certain proportions are based on the golden mean.

I wanted to do a table with more geometric forms and try my hand at a cabinet with sliding doors for the first time. The top is all one piece and cut with miters to provide several cascades with continuous grain. The final cascade provides a small shelf for storage or, if placed against a wall a nook for books.

The cabinet doors were cut from a single sheet of red oak plywood for a dynamic and matching grain pattern.

The bottom of the legs are slightly chamfered for visual lightness.

Materials include:

maple plywood and red oak plywood with peruvian walnut details for the cabinet
white oak for the top
cherry for the legs

It is 31" high, 36" long and 11" wide.

5.12.2017

a box to keep my marbles in

this art piece operates on a literal and metaphorical level.

made out of spalted maple recycled from a game board.


4.30.2017

today in the garden

privet and dogwood

4.23.2017

today in the garden

this, that and all of it








3.20.2017

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.

3.15.2017

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

3.13.2017

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.

2.26.2017

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

2.23.2017

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.


1.29.2017

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. 

1.28.2017

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