Each piece starts with an 'anchor', a piece of something that calls out to me, that fires my brain, that pulls me in, that starts the juices. I then build upon that, adding things, fiddling with them, cutting them back off, trying again. I change the finish on various parts - some I leave original, some I polish, others I sandblast or grain with abrasives.
I strive for complete functionality oozing grace and elegance.
During the process, I am awash in uncertainty. I take bold action and then timidly trim and detail things. It's an unending trial and error zigzagging path that finally leaves me saying 'Ahhhh..."
The Texas Tables commission is a wonderful concrete example of how I work.
An Interior Designer from Texas contacted me about making some tables for her client. I was given the dimensions of 24" x 28" for the top and on overall height of 26". She didn't want to restrict much of anything in the way of creativity, so she declined to offer any other guidelines - yippee! I love clean sheets of paper!
These two tables were going in a game room that featured a sculptural pool table that had been imported for the home owner from England. I had wanted to make the tops out of slate, but flooring slate usually only comes in 1/2" thickness and up to 12x24", hmmm... too thin and not big enough.
A week or so later, quite unexpectedly, someone dumped a pool table on the side of the road 1/4 mile from my house. You see, here in the rural areas, people will just dump stuff on dark roads at night to get rid of it, sigh... But, the pool table had a slate top! and I was able to get both tops from the trash on the side of the road. And, it was a full 1" thick, quite strong enough for this purpose. [big smile]
The anchor piece that started the base of Texas Table 1 (shown in process, above, and finished, below) was a chain saw bar that I noticed in the trash in the shop where I had my own chain saw chain sharpened. I then added some gas shocks that I emptied of oil and polished to a high shine.
As a counter-point to the linear aspects of those, I added the curving uprights and dainty legs out front (with feet of brass which were originally destined for trumpet parts.)
I am often asked where i get the parts for my art (Art Parts?) One of the places is at a local junkyard which is, I believe, the very last one in the city that lets people actually wander around. Every other junkyard in town balks then whines and wheedles about liability insurance and the perfidies of American tort law. Well, they really don't say that, they just mumble about lawyers and then clearly say, "NO." It's all very dispiriting.
But, all is not lost! Thankfully, there is is this last bastion of level-headed in town (or madness, depending on one's point of view and whether one has 'JD' after one's name). Here's the video of the yes-it-will-remain-unnamed-to-protect-myself junkyard: