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Upcoming Exhibition


tsterling

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Hi All,

 

Finally got caught up with our upcoming basket art show in Seattle the first weekend in August. Paperwork, pricing, photography, web images, inventories, and, oh yes - almost forgot the fun part, the carving and the weaving. What a chore!

 

Here's a link to my web site with a sneak preview of (most) of the works:

 

Basket show

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Congradulations! I just had a look at the gallery site and they've got some top notch artists in their stable besides you and your wife. Looking at your website, I enjoyed the sea urchin baskets. What type of material was used for the basket body?

 

Also, I'm just curious if you could explain at what point you decided to combine pyrography with carving? In my local club, all the woodburners work in 2-D. Your wood burning seems to be more about coloration than conveying an image.

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Hi Doug,

 

Thanks for the kind words. I'm not sure by what you mean when you ask about the body - so I'll just describe the whole thing. We turn a rim and base of hardwood, or sometimes antler, and a close fitting lid. Ribs are fit into these, using "reed" (the interior of the rattan vine). The same stuff is used to weave under, over, repeat ad nauseum - you get the picture. The sea urchin "spines" are short pieces of reed that are inserted along with the weave at frequent intervals, and left sticking out, trimmed after final weaving. If you use two colors (fiber-reactive dyes) you can weave patterns - we find a spiral is especially effective.

 

Hope that answer is sufficient.

 

As to the pyrography (sounds so much more classy than wood burning!), I initially shied away from it. I won a woodburner in a carving competition, but it sat on my shelf for years. I judged a few carving shows with bird carvers and was always really put off by their attitudes where “accuracy†was weighed far more heavily than the artistic value of the work. There was always banter about how many primaries this species had, etc. As a trained biologist I was aghast at this attitude, since that sort of number is meant to be a guide or an average, not some sort of hard rule – the beauty of biodiversity! Woodburning technique was also heavily criticized, with strokes per inch measurements, but again no input as to artistic merit. I watched many ribbons going to lesser works (birds) just because they had 7 primaries, rather than 6 or 8. That left a sour taste about woodburning, and bird carving in general.

 

However, when I began to abandon my novice ideas about “purity†of materials and started to incorporate color (dyes) in my work, I noticed that woodburning a thin line around each color area prevented the dyes from running (except in yellow cedar – which was OK since I hate the smell anyway – but that’s another story). From there I figured out a method of combining line and stippling that provides an incredible contrast between unburned and burned areas, and gave up my anti-woodburning crusade. Now we’re the best of friends. It was never any question between 2 and 3D – I never gave it the first thought. Now my attitude about color, materials, tools, etc is to use whatever will work with my lame artistic vision the best.

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Thank you for the link to the many baskets, and for the above information. It is quite a large collection of pieces for one show. I hope that it goes well for you, and that you enjoyed preparing the body of work for it! I have enjoyed my look at the web pages.

 

Janel

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