The tilt of the head, the sway of the body, the physical contact and language between people – strong indicators of ‘friends’. The jarrah piece is one single slab, saved from a windfall event in 2000 where most of the timber was chipped.
‘Friends’ was exhibited and sold at the 2019 Sculpture By The Bay in Dunsborough, Western Australia. It went to a delightful home at the entry to a private nine-hole golf course. The black affect is created by charring (Shou-sugi-ban technique), then wirebrushing then sanding. This is repeated a number of times until the charring with a blow-torch is having little affect. The timber becomes very hard and resistant to flame, also creating a terrific contrast to the natural jarrah.
It is that inclination of two bodies that indicate they will always be there for each other.
The work was exhibited and sold at the 2018 Sculpture By The Bay in Dunsborough, Western Australia. It was an exercise in charring jarrah hardwood, a method derived from Shou-sugi-ban treatment of wood in Japan. The charring, or burning with a blow-torch, hardens the wood even further, makes it resistant to rot and various wood pests, and provides a wonderful contrast to the natural jarrah colour.
Within the darkness of the shou-sugi-ban treated the grain of the timber still shows through when finely sanded. I am particularly pleased that the feeling comes through, even though the characters could seem to be quite foreign.
The target was to have this piece ready for The Small Sculpture Prize at the end of March 2019. I had seen a bronze somewhere of a man keeping his pants up with his two hands, This reminded me of when I was a child with hand-me-down pants from my older brother. After school, during sheep shearing time, I would change into these work pants and race off to the shearing shed, along the way often stopping to hoist my pants up, or re-tie the binder twine that was being used as a belt. So, the image I had when I saw this piece was that of standing in the shed hoisting my pants up.
The piece is sculptured from jarrah hardwood, Boyup Brook origin. As mentioned in previous blogs the jarrah I have stored is from a strong wind event in 2000 where many of the paddock jarrahs were blown over. These are the original jarrahs, many of which were 200+ years old. Boyup Brook, in the Blackwood Valley, is known for having the best jarrah timber in the world, both for construction and feature furniture.
Apart from the use of fine carving tools, I have also employed Shou-sugi-ban technique of charring to give contrast and hardening of the wood. The pants were charred using a blow-torch then wirebrushed and sanded. This process occurred a number of times to give depth to the colouration.
The 2019 Small Sculptures Prize exhibition at Christian Fletcher’s Gallery was wonderfully attended over the 3 days of the March long weekend. “Pants Too Big” sold to a wonderful home and also was awarded the People’s Choice Award.