Swimming Penguin – 17″l x 9″w x 9 1/4″ t – White Pine, Leather, Found Wood, Steel, Composite Croquet Ball – Available Email Here.
Posts Tagged ‘Folk’
A recent customer wrote to me:
I love your style, a perfect combination of texture, color, and form, that looks and feels gently worn, yet alive.
“Gently worn, yet alive” is exactly what I’m going for. My birds tell a story. The first story in the story of my experience with the bird. The second story is what I put into the bird through form, color and texture. The third story is the story revealed to the viewer what they hold a bird or whale or goat in their hand.
I study color and texture an experiment in ways to convey them in my work. The following pieces are from my collection of stuff and are textures that I cherish and work towards re-creating. These were created by the master of distressed and interesting surfaces — Time.
This is the tool box that I take to demonstrations. I bought it for the finish. It’s a simple well worn homemade plywood box with steel hasps and corners. It had a disintegrating wet formed leather handle that I recovered.
I love the pale green alligatored paint with subtle white splatter. Bare wood The circle is from my own shellac can. The single light blue drop is mine as well.
This is another side of the same box. I stenciled “50 Little Birds” across the side. One this side there are two layers of bright yellow-green paint. The top coat has alligatored into fine grains. The paint is worn to wood following the grain of the plywood veneer. The hardware is painted as well.
This is the top of the wooden stool that I sit on at my bench. It was left behind when a co-worker left the school where I was teaching. He always knew that I liked it and I suspect it was left on purpose.
It was once painted red over white and then alligatored. Decades of rear ends have worn much of it to bare wood that has been rubbed smooth. It has some splatter — black spot can be seen here.
This is one of the many white cedar lobster bouys that I picked up as a kid. Lobster bouys were so much more substantial and interesting when they were made of wood. These were made from massive blocks of wood and were turned on a lathe. This wasn’t fancy work and the gouge marks are still visible.
This bouy was primed in orange — often whatever house paint that could be aquired. The red with a green stripe indicate which fisherman owned the bouy. An identical one was displayed on the boat. I love these three colors together. I also love that the red exposed beneath the failing green paint has not faded. It’s also important to note that most of the red paint is missing from the surfaces that would make the most contact.
Years ago i got a bargain on a huge poplar dresser and cabinet. It’s almost 5′ tall and 6′ long. It contain 8 drawers (Three of which are larger than most dressers) and a hanging locker. It was so large that we had to remove the cap on my full sized pickup to load it.
It was to be put in my (then) upstairs studio — but it could not negotiate the turn in the stairs. It now sits in our living room with the TV atop.
It’s been painting — at least — three times. It has a few stories to tell and I’ve can’t make sense of them.
Looking at the door, It is clear that the green paint is under the grained red paint. This is counter to what would be expected. In general faux grained finishes pre-date “institutional” green. The hardware is painted with both colors indicating that there is — probably — at least another color (the original color) underneath.
Another mystery is the row of orange dots under each bin pull/drawer pull. They were painted when the piece was “institutional” green.
These are the finishes that I seek out. These are the finishes that I collect. These are the finishes I strive to re-create.
Many years ago I built an animated pull-toy for the son of a friend — a jaw snapping, tail-wagging alligator. It was a great piece. Ever since I wanted to get back to animated artwork.
The problem was finding a way to join quality (ie. round) wheels to axles. This is important to provide direct drive to the action of the sculpture.
Yesterday I experimented with steel rod, thread cutters and various simple hardware and am confident that I can not make a reliable connection to the pewter wheels that I am using for the pull-toy series.
On the bench today is a pair of leaping and running dogs. There will be more toys with action ahead!
The Pull-Toy Series No. 11 – White River Willy – Sea Serpent
19″l x 9″w x 8 1/4″t
White Pine, Found Wood, Steel, Leather, Pewter, Found Wood, Brass
The Hamilton County (Indiana) historian recently approached me and shared a story that he discovered about a giant serpent discovered a few blocks from my home in 1892. The entire story may be found by visiting my website at 50littlebirds.com.
I’ve been commissioned to draw and to design and create, but this is the first custom pull-toy. The client sent photos of a worn, primitive stuffed animal and wanted my interpretation. Without the photo I’d have never taken this direction. I’m glad that I did!
Pull-Toy No. 8 – The Elephant
12″l x 8″w x 10″t
White Pine, Leather, Glass, Pewter, Steel, Copper, Horsehair
(Custom pieces cost no more than existing pieces. The process begins with a short exchange of emails. I then produce drawings for the client’s approval. Changes are made. With a deposit of 50% I begin work. I send photos documenting progress. The piece is completed within three weeks and shipped with payment of the balance. Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in a custom piece.)
The Pull-Toy Series No. 7 – The Holstein
15 1/4″l x 5 1/4″w x 11 1/2″t
White Pine, Found Wood, Steel, Glass, Leather, Pewter, Bone, Cotton