Turning Archive 2008
JohnKJordan in East TN
>I was at a bluegrass pickin' party near Crossville last night and saw two amazing pieces by Brad Sells. I've seen pictures of his work before, but never saw one in person where it could be touched or picked up.
If you haven't seen Sell's work, look at his web site. He has pieces in gallerys and collections all over the country, including one in the Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian American Art Museum (this photo is from the Smithsonian web site):
Seeing and touching the pieces last night, I was astounded.
One piece was a large carved wall sculpture, nearly 3' across. Words fail me.
The other piece I saw and picked up was a carved vessel similar in style to those in the photo and link below, a freeform vase without a foot. The piece I saw was made from an apple tree that came from the host's back yard. I took some photos but did not have good light so I did not post one here. (The figure in the apple wood was to die for.)
How does this apply to turning? I thought the method he used to display this piece was clever and might be useful to those who like to turn things without feet. The rectangular base was a piece of thick iron plate (the one I saw was distressed - looked great). A strong magnet button was embedded in the bottom of the vessel sculpture. The magnet held the piece upright on the base plage, but it could easily be lifted and replaced.
If everyone but me already knew of this mounting technique, then "nevermind!" But if not, it may be worth considering. However, it does require making a magnet-sized hollow in the bottom of the piece.
BTW, if you do visit Brad's web site, check out the method used to show photos of pieces. Each click on the left or right side of the image rotates the view slightly. This nicely solves the problem of how to show all sides of any work. Also, if you want to see some amazing photos of the wood pile of an artist and the artist in action, click on the photo of the hanging sculpture in the "About the Artist" link and click through the slide show. Zounds.
PS, the bluegrass was as good or gooder than the artwork! :)