Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Ninth Chair: Beyond Burnt has returned from "On the Edge of Your Seat: Chairs for the 21st Century" show at the Center for Wood Art in Philadelphia. It is now on display at Red Dot Gallery, 826 Canyon Road, Santa Fe. The Fall Show 2016 will be up through fall (appropriately enough). Here's the link to the show website:

RDG is a project of Santa Fe Community College and operates as an innovative learning laboratory for students interested in business, marketing, entrepreneurship and art gallery operations.
RDG regularly features artwork and concepts by SFCC students, faculty, staff and alumni. It's good stuff by good people; come check it out!
Kim and I have three "bird-themed" works in a group show at Mariposa Gallery from September 2-30. One of the oldest contemporary craft galleries in the US, Mariposa is located at 3500 Central Ave in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Albuquerque. Kim made the birdhouse that features a framed entrance and birchbark sides. I made the honeycomb/cardboard bowl and birdcage sculpture.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

On the Edge of Your Seat: Chairs for the 21st Century

Doug and former student (and current friend) Carrie Compton made a chair last summer that was juried into On the Edge of Your Seat: Chairs for the 21st Century. The show opened May 6, 2016 at the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia and runs through July 23, 2016. We'll be attending a reception on June 23rd from 6- 8:30pm in conjunction with The Furniture Society's Annual Conference (June 23-25). The show includes seating by 40 artist/makers from around the globe. This link takes you to more on the exhibition (once there, click on a name to view individual pieces):

The 9th Chair: Beyond Burnt

This piece was an experimental collaboration between Doug Jones and Carrie Compton. Through experimentation with fire and wood and various finishes, we became inspired by the changes in the characteristics of wood that emerged in the burning process, especially the effects on end grain.  We were particularly struck by the beauty of white oak and the emergence of the cellular structure/growth rings that appeared when the cellulose burned and was scrubbed away and the durable lignin remained.  Transformations in color, texture, technical properties and working abilities were explored through a repeated process of burning, scouring away the charred cellulose, applying liming wax and rubbing out.  Throughout our process and experimentation we were pleased and surprised to discover the

extent to which our process was controllable or uncontrollable.  For instance, some edges of the chair frame developed their own organic and imperfect shaping and the wax on the seat and back was a bit more malleable than expected.  We were able to control and highlight a bit more of the natural coloration in the white oak (bringing out more browns) versus the black and white that originally appeared with the application of white wax.

Designing and building this piece was not limited to a collaborative interplay of ideas, experimentation and design viewpoint but also, we realized, it was a collaboration between wood and fire.  The simple unadorned chair frame became the canvas for a blend between structure and the organic as the alder frame’s once crisp lines softened in the burning process, showcasing the temper of fire on wood; the wood’s own imperfections blending seamlessly with the refined grace of fine woodworking.  The alder’s light tones turned a particularly rich color after the charred blackness was rubbed away and unique organic edges became apparent depending on where the fire caught or burned more deeply.  The panels of white oak end grain that make up the seat and back were texturized and softened as well helping to integrate them well with the form of the frame. 

This project was a successful blend of the technical and intuitive natures of woodworking using common species in unexpected and unconventional ways, to be experienced against a backdrop of a simple chair form.  The elemental “treeness” of growth rings transformed into a refined seat with a strong visual and textural statement. Gridlines appeared along the glued end grain of the panels as flame dried and scoured the surface, creating an overlaid pattern that enhances the natural geometry and characteristics of wood. The pattern and texture of wood replaces the pattern and texture of a more traditional upholstered back and seat. We feel that the 21st century will be about making the most of precious limited resources and that creatively approaching common woods and materials leads to good, sustainable design. We hope that a sitter will be intrigued by the surfaces and processes represented in this chair and be inspired that common woods can be transformed by thoughtful design.

-Doug Jones and Carrie Compton, July 3, 2015