70"H, 36"W, 34"D
Figured Ceylon Satinwood, Birdseye Maple, Granit River Rock
"Glory" is inspired by sea anemone forms. I have a friend who does underwater photography with strobe lights. Years ago, it was some of his shots that really opened my eyes to the beauty of underwater life forms. These days, if you do an internet search on "sea anemone images" you will get a screen full of amazingly beautiful forms and colors.
When I started the design process, I knew I wanted some kind of body with waving, twisting arms - but I was not sure how to create it in wood. For my first attempt I found a piece of cedar beam left over from building our home and just started carving. It quickly became apparent that the outside arms might be doable, but as I got into more inside arms - the outside ones were going to get in the way. Somehow the piece would have to be fairly easy to accurately assemble and disassemble. Only then I would have enough access to all the arms to properly shape, smooth, and finish them.
The system I eventually settled on uses a hollow body. I mounted hanger bolts in the bases of the arms. These are inserted into holes in the body. Nuts attach to the hanger bolts inside the body and pull the arms snug. There are also metal pins mounted to the seats in the body that fit into holes in the arm bases to precisely lock them in position.
Figuring out how to create flowing, spiraling arms was the next challenge. Theoretically, it seemed like I should be able to do it similarly to the way I had learned years ago to create roughed out cabriole' leg blanks on the band saw. The band saw would yield a square and somewhat distorted leg that you then would carve to final shape. It took 6-7 failures, but eventually I figured that one out too.
It was only after I had successfully created half a dozen arms that I began to realize the potential for intertwining them. From there I was off and running. I started on the interior and worked my way out. The more arms I made, the more I learned - the more circus tricks I was able to make the arms perform. No two arms are the same. Each was designed for its' particular position and desired tricks. There are 40 arms.
It took a lot of wood to create all the motion in the arms. I used stock that started as 3-4 inch thick and 4-6 inch wide blanks up to 3 feet long. I generated a giant pile of very interestingly shaped scraps. The sculpture itself used up between 300 and 350 board feet of stock. To put that in perspective - the pedestal took 15 - 20 board feet.
Ceylon Satinwood comes from Sri Lanka, an island country off the southern tip of India. One of my favorites, this particular stock is highly figured and just dances in the light. There is an iridescence in the satinwood that you also see in the birdseye maple (northeastern USA) of the pedestal. Very pearly and deep.
I placed dimmable LED lights in the pedestal top to up-light the sculpture. They are controlled by a remote and create beautiful effects. Placed in my home, I lit her with halogen spots to create a presentation similar to the portfolio photos. I have lots of windows and during the day, as the sun swings around, the light from outside takes over and "Glory" transitions through many beautiful personalities.