Thursday, July 1, 2010

Modes of Making @ Society of Arts and Crafts

The Society of Arts and Crafts curated an inspiring furniture show that also coincided with the Furniture Society Conference in Boston, titled Modes of Making, and exhibited June 5 to August 14. It features a wide range of art, some functional, some not; some contemporary, some traditional; mostly made of wood, but also some metal.

My favorite piece is, again, one made by Bart Niswonger. His F.O.M. Cabinet, which very much resembles Swiss cheese, is very inventive. I couldn't figure out how he cut the holes so I asked. It turns out he used a vertical mill, a tool I hadn't been familiar with but which is essentially a drill press on steroids used primarily for metal work. Bart made custom cutters for this piece.

FOM Cabinet
Bart Niswonger
I like how SAC painted the wall behind it green, making the piece really stand out. The rest of the gallery was painted off white. They must have thought a lot of it as well since they gave it the prime spot at the entrance.
I also really like this this table by Reagan Furqueron. It is a nice blend of functional and sculptural work with a little bit of humor.
Coffee Table w/Boot
Reagan Furqueron
Another piece with humor is My Casket by Shaun Bullens. The piece includes a video that you can see through a small peep hole on the right side. It shows Shaun pulling the coffin through city streets for about 30 minutes (I didn't watch the whole thing). I was told that the work was inspired by Herman Melville's Moby Dick. It combines fine woodworking, rough carpentry, video art, and conceptual art. The veneer of the base has a fiery motif on the far side as well. I think it is funny that someone would create a casket titled, My Casket, and have offer it for sale. If someone buys it, do you ask for it back when you need it?
My Casket
Shaun Bullens
This sculpture by Sylvie Rosenthal is also conceptual. Titled, Equilibrium: Balance III, it includes sixteen metal cubes engraved with words of emotion -- grief, love, fury, chaos, regret, temptation, joy, terror, compassion, loving kindness, vice, desire, clarity, greed, passion, forgiveness -- below a balance. It entices one to play and find out if these words really create an equilibrium. At least in her sculptural world, they do.
Equilibrium: Balance III
Sylvie Rosenthal
One of the more traditionally designed pieces is this finely crafted chair by Paula Garbarino. The design is original and with the narrow back rest and three legs, it has foot in the contemporary furniture world as well.
Begonia Tripod Chair
Paula Garbarino
Yuri Kobayashi created this purely sculptural piece, Believing. I'm not sure what the title refers to but it reminds me of early Wright Brothers airplanes, perhaps it has something to do with believing and accomplishing the impossible. It is certainly a very complicated construction, looking simultaneously fragile and strong.
Yuri Kobayashi

I had read on-line that it was made of ash and sterling silver before seeing it in person but couldn't figure out where the silver was so I made a point of looking closely when I got there -- she used silver pins to hold the through tenons in place.
Finally, Will Tracey created these cool Japanesque Flat Head Stools with cherry, poplar, and paint. Seeing them in person once again reminded me how different work looks in photographs. They were chosen for the show post card which somehow gave me the impression that they were much larger. At 18" high, they are actually a good stool height, but they have a very diminutive look that made me double check the dimensions.
Will Tracey
Flat Head Stools

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