An award winning work loaded with symbolism.
SHOP OWNER: Wolf Kiessling
LOCATION: Marlow, OK
Here are pictures of the piece that took 1st place in the open level abstract/freeform category at the East Texas Wooden Wonderland 2001 show in Tyler, TX last weekend.
The top is made from eucalyptus and the bottom is ebonized walnut. It is 22" high by 6.5" in diameter. The bottom of the eucalyptus piece was turned on a lathe, the remainder was finished by hand using an angle grinder, Dremel and woodcarving tools. There were several checks and wormholes, which were filled using both red and turquoise inlace, to give it a completely smooth feel. The walnut pedestal was turned on a lathe but, because the "flame" is sort of flat, the part where it meets the eucalyptus was flattened a little to conform to the shape of the upper piece. The tenon on the "flame" is a little longer than its seat in the pedestal to create a 1/8" gap. This creates the illusion that the upper piece floats above the pedestal. Originally, I had a solid joint between the two pieces and when I was shaping the pedestal to conform to the flattened shape of the upper piece, I realized it would look better with the gap. At that point, I had to remount the eucalyptus on the lathe to increase the length of the tenon.
The entire piece is finished with Danish oil and a final coat of paste wax. I applied a first coat of oil in the normal manner, followed by additional coats, each of which was sanded in using 240, 320, 400, 600 and 1000 grit sandpaper (the last three grits were wet/dry paper) for a total of six coats.
The splits and faults in the wood, which are manifestations of stresses endured by the tree that ultimately stabilize it, represent the adversities in a loving relationship which, when overcome, finally forge that love to make it even stronger.
The hole in the sculpture represents the void that is created when the object of one's love leaves."
The poem, which I wrote, is inscribed on the brass plaque. When this piece is displayed, it is accompanied by a plaque printed with a background statement as follows: "This sculpture represents love, such as the love of a man for a woman, a mother for her child, or a boy for his dog".
The piece received some very favorable remarks while it was on display but, for some unknown reason, the really rave comments came from female viewers. By the way, I gave this piece to my wife as a gift.. . . Wolf Kiessling
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