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Specimens of trees and wood are removed from their natural continuum and isolated in the woodturned object. In this sense, these objects offer a retrospective view of the life of the wood. For example, Todd Hoyer’s Conical Series is a wafer-thin cross-section of the tree trunk that shows the structural make-up of the living organism: bark thickness, growth rings, and deformities show the conditions in which the tree lived. Similarly, John Jordan reveals the inside of a red maple tree whose growth patterns have made for a spectacular image in Untitled 1998. Such anomalies in the grain can be the result of disease or parasites which cause growths such as burl. Ironically, this deformed wood is highly prized for its beauty, and its use is widespread among artists such as Mel and Mark Lindquist, Stoney Lamar, Robyn Horn, Michael Peterson, David Ellsworth, and Jim Partridge.
Todd Hoyer uses unique methods to create turned sculpture. In Peeling Orb, Hoyer’s unification of the tree interior and exterior makes a graceful statement. Turn this object around to view Hoyer’s thoughtful design and craftsmanship.
Ron Kent almost always turns Norfolk Island Pine when he creates his translucent vessels. In this video clip, watch Kent as he attaches the unseasoned cross section of a tree trunk to the lathe, and begins to shape it. Kent often brings out the pattern of knots and striations that are found in Norfolk Island Pine. Look for his large bowl form, Untitled, in the exhibition.
Melvin Lindquist and his son, Mark, both create objects that emphasize the natural beauty of the wood. In this asymmetrical object entitled Natural Top Bowl, Melvin Lindquist allows the texture of the wood to define the object. Lindquist manipulates the smooth and bumpy textures of the burl to create an object with natural branches or roots that extend from the vessel body.
Follow the worm-eaten pathways around Dale Nish's Sandblasted Vessel #2 . Nish's choice for a simple vessel form contrasts effectively with its naturally decorated surface. This object can be tilted and turned at several angles.