These are all carved and painted wood sculptures that I have made in the last few months. 'Mallard' and 'Cheongsam' are in honor of my friends Anita Tsang and Cathy Hau who are from Hong Kong and Shanghai respectively. They recently flew to NYC to attend the opening of 'China: Through the Looking Glass' at the Metropolitan Museum. Anita and Cathy wore very elegant and authentic Chinese 'Cheongsam' style dresses.
Laura Jacobs, in her 26 May 2015 Wall Street Journal review of the exhibition, describes Cheongsam as,
"...Cheongsam or (in Mandarin) Qipao, a high-collared, cap-sleeved, figure-skimming sheath that emerged in the 1920s, a sophisticated nod to the flapper’s chemise. These sheaths are placed in murmuring dialogue with Western reinventions of the shape."
I like that description. Here is a picture of Anita and Cathy in-costume at the Met:
|L-R: Anita and Cathy wearing Cheongsam dresses by the Temple of Dendur pool.|
The other four sculptures in the top photo represent figurative heads or busts. These are perhaps the most the most difficult subject matter of all for artists. Maybe that's why the poet W.H. Auden said that, "All sculpture should be confined to busts of famous chefs."
|L-R: 'Mallard, 'Cheongsam.' Painted wood.|
The next two sculptures below were too tall to fit into the tool rack studio display.
|L-R: 'Turkey Head,' 'The Hour - in Colonial Red.'|
|Detail of hot-forged iron 'Turkey Head' in our living room mirror.|
Cherry BenchHere is a carved cherry-wood bench I recently completed. It is 17 1/2 inches tall, 78 1/2" long and 14" deep. My wife, Bartley Johnstone, likes it because she says that the long, curved bottom of the bench looks like a boat.
A friend said yesterday that she thinks it looks more like a whale underneath. Perhaps it does! The six inch thick cherry wood for this project has been air-drying for over ten years. The black leg at the far end is solid cherry that has been stained and hand-rubbed with fine steel wool to give it an almost-matte sheen. Here is a detail of the leg in the foreground:
|Large 'dovetail' joints fasten the leg to the bench.|
|Only the right hand leg is stained black.|
Two more benches: 'Nazlini Bench' and 'Reclining Woman Bench' are shown in the I.M. Pei designed gallery at Choate School in Wallingford, CT.
|From left: '3 Sided Glass Top Table with 4 Legs,' 'Nazlini Bench' |
The framed painting on paper, far left, is a study for the table.
The 'Nazlini Bench' is made of carved and painted poplar wood
with forged iron details.
|'Reclining Woman Bench' Length: 83 inches.|
Carved and oiled cherry wood back, painted base.