Art and design projects. With stories about the people, places and experiences that have shaped my

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spring Sculptures, Cheongsam and a Cherry Wood Bench

Carved Cherry Bench with large dovetails.

Cherry wood bench with V shaped leg stained black.

New Sculptures, winter 2014 through spring 2015. L-R: 
'Gold Head' 2015; 'Head' 2014; '3 Stripe Head' 2015; 
'Mallard' 2015; 'Relief Head' (in oak) 2015; 'Cheongsam' 2015.
This is a temporary display created for a party in my studio. 
Tools are stored above and below.


These are 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 are pictures of Anita and Cathy in-costume at the Met. Earlier in the day they visited MoMA to see my Folding Music Stand in the current design show there, 'Making Music Modern.'

L-R: Anita and Cathy wearing Cheongsam dresses by the Temple of Dendur pool.

Anita, at left, in a striking black, red and white Cheongsam couture dress made for her in Hong Kong. She and Cathy are posing in front of my Folding Music Stand. It is in the permanent Design Collection at the Museum of Modern Art. That's a model of the Oslo Opera House to the right of Cathy! #MakingMusicModern

L-R: 'Mallard, 'Cheongsam.' Both are painted wood.


The other four sculptures in the very top photo represent figurative heads or busts. These are perhaps the most the most difficult subject matter of all for artists. This assertion is, of course, open to debate. The poet W.H. Auden said that, "...all sculpture should be confined to busts of famous chefs..." 

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.' 

'The Hour - in Colonial Red,' carved and painted wood. I found a mahogany rudder for a small sailboat at our local 'Swap Shop.' After cleaning it up I band-sawed this head shape out of the rudder and rounded the edges. Then paint. The bottom band is colonial red. Yes, the USA was once a British Colony...

Detail of hot-forged iron 'Turkey Head' in our living room mirror.

Cherry Bench / Workshop Views

Here 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.

Cherry Bench

A friend said 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. The top of the leg has been carefully scribed and carved to fit tightly against the curved lower bench surface.

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.

Availability: In addition to providing design and fabrication services, many of the furniture pieces, sculptures and paintings shown on these posts are for sale. For additional information and prices please contact me at:
John E. Scofield
PO Box 761
Sharon, CT 06069
cell: 860-671-0153

               Facebook / Art Projects: