Having developed a unique way of working in wood for over 25 years, I’ve come to a comfortable level and understanding of working with my material. The wood, for me, is now a line in space created by hundreds of smaller pieces of wood jointed together to create one sculpture. To create my work, I usually begin with a drawing, an intention of what direction I want my sculpture to go in. I start out each day with a walk in the woods and gather sticks that have fallen to the ground. I never chop down a living tree, or use green wood. I let the wood sit in my studio for a period of time to “ cure” and make sure the wood won’t “check” or shift. Next I strip the branches of its bark. I then look for shapes within each branch and cut and joint the wood together using dowels and glue to create the new shape that I want. I make a mixture of sawdust and glue and fill in all the exposed open joints and sand the newly formed wood. I usually need to repeat this gluing and sanding process at least three times to have the newly constructed piece of wood finally look like it was “born” in nature. Frequently each piece has over a hundred smaller pieces of wood jointed together. I then finish the works in different materials, sometimes using dyed sand, or a metal coating with a patina, or ashes or gold leaf. It usually takes me a minimum of a month to complete each sculpture frequently more.
My work can be called the ultimate recycling: where I take the detritus of nature and turn it into a new art. Nothing in my studio goes to waste. My influences are many: carpets from Iran from the 13th century (when Iran/Persia was the seat of world culture), the mysterious crop circles that appear in the U.K. every spring and summer, the metaphysical works of Buddhist mandalas, sacred geometry found in nature, the chemical structure of wood and the translation of that into sculptural forms, and the celestial images viewed from the Hubble Telescope. These ancient and not so ancient works are what inform my new work this year. Each sculpture is a new geometry that works on many different levels where numbers and numerology, interconnections, science and color all have a place and relate together in a new pattern and dimension.
No Beginning No End