Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making Shavings

Getting good use from the brand I built last spring.
I spent a little more time recently making some nice wood shavings, saw dust and scrap out of some nice pieces of hardwood. Well you can't make omelet without breaking a few eggs I guess. It was good fun regardless and  the finished product was novel and functional if not wholly necessary.

The neat aspect of this project was that I actually made from scrap that I lying around anyhow so it cost nothing but time and watts to power the electrical equipment. The top was a maple stool seat blank that was rejected from the furniture maker my brother works for. I chose to leave it as an Isosceles Trapezoid, a shape the accentuates natural perspective. The legs were old legs from an old sewing table I'd made years ago that I tore apart and had lying in the wood pile. I simply cut them down and planed them. The rails were hardwood flooring I had leftover.

The other really neat thing about it is that I treated it more like a sculpture project than a functional project. Literally after it was functionally complete I started to look differently, aesthetically with an artistic eye rather than a purely functional eye. That was where the progression of holes came from. Small detail I know but it made me think and elicited a response. It was also fun getting them spaced correctly, geometrically speaking. 

I've got to say that it has been a very, very long time since that side of my brain has fired and it felt really good. That type of thing was my actual background as I'm an artist by training. That's right, I actually went to school for art and was supposed to be the creative type. It always came naturally and I really didn't have to fight to get it out and much of what came out ended up being pretty well accepted.

Any accolades from my early years didn't seem to come from sports activity. No, I was never the person that was gifted at sports, or at least I was never the one who had the discipline, dedication or desire to become good at sports. I suspect the reality is that I could have been much better had I tried harder. No, the recognition and awards I got were primarily art based. Even in competition at the regional and national level I seemed to fair well.

Alas, when it came down to making a living there was none to be found for me in and around art, at least not when I got out of school. We were in another housing speculation and bad banking induced recession which meant that graphics and advertising budgets were thin if at all and artists were simply not necessary.

The truth was that I wasn't all that good as a graphic artist. It wasn't really what I excelled at but seemed one of the few places one could actually make a reasonable living as an artist. As such, I followed the potential for employment. Really though, at least at this point, I think I prefer physical 3D art or sculpture and really enjoy doing architectural based sculpture, such as furniture.

Anyhow, the latest project was a step in what I think may be the right direction. I'm going to try and do some more stuff like that, that is more about emotion and feelings than about pure function. There is nothing better than creating something the evokes an emotional response. A work that makes you smile, makes you laugh, or just makes you feel.

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