I began Bienvenido #5 thinking it would take between 2-4 weeks ...that was 7 months ago. As I created the piece it became apparent that to truly reach it's full potential technically, visually and energy wise it was going to take much longer.
I almost always carve with my work resting on my lap. It is most comfortable to me while giving me the ability to lean the work at angles, change positions quickly and most importantly get a very close perspective on the work.
It also gives me the ability to take my work anywhere as I love creating under the energy/inspiration of the outdoors.
I also generally carve on wide single boards of mahogany which is a stable wood, great for shaping, excellent for painting or natural.
This piece at 20 3/4" x 35 3/8" is around the size that I limit myself before the wood becomes too awkward to balance while working.
I have been carving/ shaping wood for over 20 years but began pursuing and falling in love with the art form of hand carving flat wall panel works since around 2005.
In 2010, I created a series of four female anatomical silhouettes using a cornucopia of my inspirations combined into what I was calling "abstract anatomy."
The work below INFINITY incorporates ideas from the golden spiral., Fibonacci sequence, graffiti, anatomy, religion, hierarchy, intellect as well as scrolls.
I began the bienvenido series stuck indoors during a snow storm weekend in 2016. As my main focus of creating unique mirrors developed I designed this series with a modern, bolder interpretation of the classic scroll with individuality and personality.
As someone that grew up around antiques I always loved the beauty of hand carved work and scrolls in furniture.
I created three frames in this series during that year that had a more defined scroll opposed to the more loose organic shape in INFINITY
It was important to me on this work that the scrolls were all unique and had individuality. I free hand sketched the scrolls on the wood then refined them as I carved deeper into the work.
(as seen below from the drawn sketch at beginning of carving to refined scrolls towards completion)
creating bienvendio #5
As I worked on this piece in various outdoor locations this year the general opinion was that this piece represented waves. For me the beginning influences were :
-group of people interacting
-decorative ornamentation on suits of armor
I avoid using power tools on my art. The only time a power tool was used on this work was a jigsaw to remove the portion to be the mirror.
I began this work by carving the border. It would set the graduation from the highest to lowest point on the inside portion of the frame thus showing me how much material I would have to work with creating dimension on the scrolls.
Generally the more material you have to work with the more dimension/shadows you can create.
A standard phrase I got to repeat for probably the last 5 months was "it's almost there." I felt it was almost always done just needing that extra 5 more hours... that would lead to another 2 weeks etc…
I believe these scrolls taper and flow beautifully … the centers are delicate but defined ...shy but powerful, soft, warm.. comforting...caring...illuminating...everlasting energy...simplicity... …. that is what bienvenido #5 is to me or it's " a bunch a waves" as most have seen it !!!
One of the main reasons I love wood carving is the simplicity in tools. That I am participating in an artform that hasn't changed much dating back to at least 7,500 BCE. and that I can still create an object that a million dollar machine isn't capable of.
These are the only tools I used on this piece :
Pfiel carving tools with various lasered quotes for some inspired carving
1/3 : "it's the best thing going woooo" - Ric Flair
1/8 : "every damn minute of it: - Ric Flair
1/25 : "I grab a handfull of clouds" - Mike Tyson
1f/6 : "SPOKEN, LISTENED...CRIED" - Mike Bunts
the following were used in succession for the scroll from center out:
8/3 - final curl of scroll at center
5/4 - used after above to continue bend in line. - "Son of a Gun" Ric Flair
5F/6 - used the for continuing the curve and general shaping " I'm shomer shabbos" -Big Lebowski
3F/12 - used the for continuing the curve and general shaping "My style is impetuous" - Mike Tyson
5/14 - shaping " To be the man" : Ric Flair
3 rasps :
smooth curved rat tail
course flat bottom with point/curve
knife edge rasp
My cherished hammer used on every piece I've made since 2008