hummingbird and Flower

The Easel That Wasn’t


Today, you are looking at the completed sculpture of the bird and the flower. The bird is cherry; the hummingbird and Flowerflower is Norwegian maple with a bloodwood inlay; the support for the bird and the rest of the sculpture is cherry. The last time you saw the sculpture, I was holding the bird down close to the flower. My son suggested that it might look better if the bird was above the flower some. I tried it, and liked it.

The main reason I have this repeated in my newsletter, however, is not primarily for its sculptural design, but for the techniques of putting it together. Fundamentally, what you are seeing is a slightly more elaborate easel. My pointed easels consist of a flat piece and a vertical piece (at 30 degrees) connected by a spline (a piece of wood that is inserted in a slot in the bottom of the vertical piece and into the top of the flat piece. A shelf is added, and there’s the easel.

This sculpture is a flat piece with a vertical piece (30 degree angle) shaped and cut to look like the stem and leaves of a flower attached by a spline in the middle. A flower is also attached to the vertical piece by a spline. The flat piece is shaped so that there is enough in the back of the vertical piece to keep it from falling over and to provide a platform for the support of the bird. The bird support is attached by a spline to the base and likewise to the bird.

The flower replicates a shape I developed a year or two ago for coasters. The only new work in the piece is the bird which was a little tricky to make with a bandsaw and an oscillating sleeve sander (although it could have been whittled also).

When I go to festivals, people graciously give me compliments about my work. What I want to say is thank you and all the products they see are the result of a process much like the one described above. If I have anything to share out of my experience, it is this incremental development: the easel that wasn’t.

This piece has not been priced yet, but is slated for an art show in the Ice House in Berkeley Springs, WV in the fall.