This series of work is the latest in a progression of pieces, the Suture Series, that make forms from sewn together segments. The first pieces in the series were stack laminated, turned bowls, a subtractive process. To create an asymmetric form the bases were ground at an angle and then the rims were cut parallel to the new bases. Imagery was drawn and carved into the interiors and exteriors. The laminations and the large imagery were cut by hand into segments following the visible joint lines and edges of the images. These pieces were then drilled, painted, sanded, and sewn back together. The next piece in the series was made of individual blocks stacked and fastened together with screws, an additive process. The exterior was then carved, a subtractive process, into a life-size bust, unscrewed, taken apart, the interiors cut out, holes drilled, painted, sanded and sewn back together.

Both of these processes are in the end subtractive, developing forms and cutting them apart and reassembling them. I was interested in developing a new, constructive method of creating from individual, discrete pieces made somewhat at random and assembling them into new forms that did not exist before. The idea was to generate irregularly curved bending forms, bend layers of veneer to the forms, and stitch together the pieces to create bowls, boxes, containers, and vessels. I eventually settled on sculpting a one and a half scale female torso in clay to create the irregularly curved molds to bend the wood. The clay surface was arbitrarily divided into sections by spreading paper over the surface following the compound curves until the paper either started to fold or tear. I took this as the largest area that veneer would bend before buckling or splitting. Each piece of paper was then cut and then taped to the sculpture and the next paper was spread out next to it, and the next, etc., until the entire sculpture was covered with 137 pieces of paper. I then took a knife and cut into the sculpture where ever two pieces of paper touched and created a border. I then put 1” wide waxed paper strips into the slots that the cuts created to fashion dams for plaster molds. Once the sculpture was covered with plaster I ground down the surface until the paper strips were revealed. I then pounded wooden wedges between pieces to loosen up each section of plaster and removed them. I then put tape around the edges of the negative plaster molds forming dams to receive reinforced polyurethane to create positive molds. Three pieces of glued veneer are then placed on these positive molds which then go into a vacuum press to bend the wood to the molds. These pieces are then trimmed, assembled temporarily to configure a new form (container, vessel, etc.), drilled, carved, painted, and sewn together.

Basswood, Incised Line Carving, Milk Paint, Waxed Nylon Sinew
13½ h x 19½ w x 12 d

The Storyteller
Bent wood veneer, Incised line carving, milk paint, seine line
7.25 x 7 x 8"

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