Thousands of years ago the Sami people carved cups from birch burls. The cups were carried on a short rope to allow for convenient travel of a life necessity. The cordage on this sculpture was made using only my hands. First the stalks of the Stinging Nettle plant were collected from the forest. Then a process known as “breaking the back” of the stalk is implemented to separate the skin from the inner woody pith. The skin is dried and then the fibers from the skin are rubbed together between your hands to change the consistency of the skin to a fibrous and nappy rough cord. In this step you take time to remove all the hard bits which happen from the nodes on the stalk. Finally a tight twist is put on the cord to start a two ply, twisted rope. The result is a durable and strong cordage that has a wonderful light green pastel hue.
Sunday, January 3, 2021
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Trees use seeds to populate the world. I wonder if they could ever imagine how much enjoyment they would create! The samara is the name for this particular kind of “helicopter” seed. Many trees use samara style seeds, Maples and Sycamores for example have their own models. As I was carving this giant seed a few tiny samaras fell on me from a Douglas Fir tree. As I was unaware samara seeds came from Douglas Fir trees, I was mystified. Then I noticed some Black-Capped Chickadees playing on the fir branches resulting in shaking their limbs. Wait!! They were climbing on the cones and eating the seeds inside. It turns out there are helicopter bays inside of each cone with samara seeds parked in some kind of tetris miracle. The Chickadees know this so they wait until the trees open their cone doors and then ravage the stash. A few courageous samara pilots are able to plummet past the avian invaders, only to be marveled by a human below who is, coincidentally, hand carving a symbolic, sculptural model of them. There are stories all around just waiting for us to witness.
This seed is a story. There are two copper poles and radiating lines between the poles. Electricity is the unifying force of the cosmos and copper is humanity’s conduit. Copper wires carry energy to light our homes and fuel our devices. Every time your heart beats a tiny electrical arc fires. There is a cosmic story hidden in this seed and it needs your inquiry to grow. Sometimes another story is right under your nose if you take a closer look.
Saturday, November 23, 2019
My first Artist Residency with HCMA Architecture and Design! This project was a collaboration with the HCMA team to represent the concept of Social Justice in a sculptural form.
Artist Statement: The concept of Social Justice evokes the balance of resources for a healthy and hearty society. Craft and the act of creation is a stimulus toward finding the true meaning of beauty and incorporating these ideas in the conception and process of creation. It is through a connection with each media that we gain a relationship that can guide a process of design that accentuates the virtues of the media.
A bowl? The bowl represents a vessel for resource allocation. It is an ancient human form that has a myriad of manifestations over time that are representative of the cultural identity of the society that shaped them. It is through connecting with the processes of these various cultures that we can gain new perspectives on resource allocation to use materials in the most prudent and beautiful ways.
The collaboration with HCMA allowed for a creative relationship that conceptually directed the project. The doorway carved into the inner sphere of the bowl is representative of a pathway for communication and connection with that which fulfills us. The bowl spins on a fulcrum point to represent the ever changing and participatory elements of fulfillment. Though fulfillment is always changing, we can allow for a community of people to help each other reach for social justice in the activities of our daily lives and the lives of those around us.
Saturday, November 10, 2018
The Anglerfish is for sale! please ask us about her: Email contact: email@example.com
Cedar interior space. The door has a black walnut wooden latch and custom steel forged hinges. The eyes are blown glass windows with inset lights...
The eyes and lure bulb were blown by Kevin Regan of Central Glass Works in Centralia, Washington.
The garlic bulb stone basket heat exchanger! I had a great time building this one and special thanks to Chuck McEvoy for his insight on stone setting :) The stove pipe snakes through the stone basket...
The scales and fins are the work of Travis Conn's sheet metal shaping. The tail is a door that swings open to access the wood stove.
The Anglerfish Sauna is for sale! please ask us about her
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
The Steam Roller is a custom collaboration project with Marc Goodson of Engaging Environments LLC. Marc is a very talented carpenter and welder and he visited me in Olympia to see the Snail Shell Sauna. We decided to collaborate on another sauna that was his main design in his shop in Portland, Oregon. Over the past few months we have met for a few days at a time and chipped away on all the details. After a lot of on and off work we spent Easter weekend jacking up the sauna and getting it on to a trailer and out of Marc's shop!
What to do with this beautiful sauna? We are not entirely sure. It has been a terrific project and we hope to use it to showcase our work and potentially find a buyer. I think Marc is a bit attached to this sauna, but for the right price he could be convinced to let it go. For now it will live outside of his shop in Tyler Smith's yard, but if you have any interest in seeing this building or taking a sweat, don't hesitate to contact either Marc or I. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marc and I with the initial steel frame in place.
Final photo of the exterior. The back side of the sauna is where you load wood into the custom sauna stove. You can see the cribbage blocks we were using to jack it up to get it on to the trailer.
Interior of the multi-teared building with a view of the custom bent light fixture...
Custom sauna stove with room around the fire box for the sauna rocks... This photo is from when we first installed the stove.
You can see the multi-level seating without the front wall installed...
Here is Marc Goodson in his element :)
And one more shot of the vinegar patina on the steel roofing!
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Hideta Kitazawa gifted me the off cuts of yellow cedar from the work shop I attended a few weeks ago. This wood is really great to work with and I have been playing around with it. I carved this maple samara because it was one of my favorite forms and one of my favorite words. I have been carving these little seeds for a few years, but this yellow cedar one came out really well. I am very grateful to have had the experience to work with another carver like Hideta. Thank you so much :)
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Bring paper and a pencil to doodle
Sunday, January 21, 2018
Hideta designed and collaborated with the Taoist Studies Institute collaborated to build a wooden bell shaped like a fish dragon.
He carved this little model quickly to help visualize for his final drawing to scale.
This design was then cut into three pieces and carved on the outside and hollowed on the inside then the three pieces were glued back together to make this ceremonial dinner bell! This was a really terrific piece to see underway and I was so amazed at Master Hideta's skill and ability to see three dimensionally.
Though I did not work much on this dragon fish, I did get to carve a letter!
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Note: This trailer is completely intact underneath of the wood covering. I am not concerned at all if the wood sheathing leaks a little because there is a sealed metal shell underneath that was a purchased commercial coffee cart before any wood was added. Another contractor/carpenter was hired and he glued firring strips on to the outside of the trailer walls and then attached cedar siding with screws to the firring strips. I do not take any kind of ownership or responsibility for the siding or trim on this project. The client was interested in a sign, and I convinced her that a beautiful architectural line with the roof will be the best sign this little cart could ever receive. I hope you agree :) Our part was to build the roof. Normally I would use the rough sawn cedar as a sheathing that the roof shingling would attach to, but in this case my client liked the exposed boards and since they are not the waterproofing member of this roof set up, I thought, I like them exposed too!
The first step was to through bolt the supports for the roof to the framing members of the trailer.. You can see the original trailer with siding here. We made sure not to drill any holes or allow any fasteners to poke through the metal siding. Aside from the through bolts that hold the supports for the roof, there are no other holes...
My pops drillin' (pictured above)