Last Thursday afternoon we gathered in Kresge auditorium for an illuminating panel led by notable artists and craftsmen whose methods are closely linked to pieces shown in The Object Show. Sharing their creative processes and sources of inspiration, these makers helped us to better appreciate techniques that are rarely practiced today and require intensive hands-on labor. The first two speakers took us back in time, explaining their revival of methods of medieval stone carving and woodworking from colonial America.
Renowned sculptor and master stone carver Simon Verity described the methods and tools used for carving sculptures for Gothic churches, such as St. John The Divine in New York City. He then spoke about the Bowdoin Museum’s Head of a King from Chartres Cathedral, sharing keen insights about the process of its creation and afterlife that only an experienced carver, like himself, might notice.
Peter Follensbee is a joiner who reproduces furniture of the seventeenth-century, using the same materials, tools and techniques as joiners did 400 years ago. He spoke on two elegant works in The Object Show: the Carved Wooden Box and Great Joined Chair, both attributed to William Searle and considered among the finest examples of seventeenth century furniture in America. Learn more about Follensbee’s work and other enjoyable exploits here: http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/
Artist Martha Finney creates elaborate and delicate books of concrete poetry based on systems from ancient codes and esoteric mathematical equations. She described her experimental printmaking and letterpress techniques, which are highlighted in a piece called Weathering, on view in The Object Show.