Meddling in Metal
“I love it when apparently conflicting subjects come into confluence and harmoniously create something bigger than their conflict.”
- I said this
As a craftsman, musician and dancer I strive to bring a celebration of these muses into form. My intention is to create objects that bring the vitality and energy of song and dance to furnishings where people dwell.
I have been designing and building furniture in the southern Appalacian mountains for over 20 years. My studio is located at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina (rated in the top 10 galleries in Niche magazine). In the last couple of years I have been featured in articles in Woodshop news, Fiddler magazine, and Old-time Herald with images appearing in national publications of Southern Living and American Style magazine. My latest inclusion was a piece in the Owensburg Museum of Fine Art.
I am really excited about the development of my new body of work. While playing around with a variety of materials, I found myself being particularly attracted to, and appreciating the complimentary nature of metal and wood.
After working with a material that was as idiosyncratic and unpredictable as wood, metal’s clean, dense, neutral uniformity is unfamiliar in its reliable. This opens an entirely new world of design for me. All of a sudden, I am designing and building furniture with completely new rules. Actually, with metal, there are a lot less rules as metal’s strength and malleability gives me the freedom to express curves and dimensions never allowed by wood. Because of its strength, less material is needed in the metal bases and stands, allowing lighter elegant lines to trace the design. Still, I hold onto the wood as a jeweler would covet his precious stones for their warmth, character, and individuality; leaving the metal as the frame to set the wood off as the center piece. I consider my new line of metal and wood furniture, jewelry for the home.
Enter a third element, design. While mixing the contrasting subjects of wood and metal I have the simultaneous pursuit of Ikebana (the art of Japanese flower arranging). I was taking a welding class at my local technical college and the same day taking an Ikebana workshop. Needless to say, the types of people that were in each class were strikingly different. I knew I was on to bridging something unique! I have taken much of the aesthetics and lines of traditional Ikebana and applied them to my metal and wood furniture design with stunning results. I call my new line, “Mori”, after one of the traditional arrangement styles, Moribana. Light, elegant, and balanced with enough tension to keep the viewer engaged and enriched, I seek to connect the dots of perceived differences into a timeless feeling of harmony and togetherness.
A dark patina is applied to the steel. I finish with final coats of tung oil. The wood is protected by a environmentally friendly water based lacquer, making it resistant to water and wear.