That Which Catches The Eye?

Every woodworker I know has looked at Luca Giordano’s “The Dream Of St. Joseph” and squinted wonderingly at the tools and the workbench. It’s a masterwork to start with but the extensive display of wood butchery devices circa 1700 AD has been rumored to invoke incontinence in important woodworkers.

I spent the middle of last week hanging around Indianapolis, my wife visiting her sister and me doing my best to stay out of their hair. I visited some comic book shops and a fantastic store dedicated to all things Dr. Who. Hit up a couple antique shops and a disappointing visit to my first Rockler store. The most time I spent anywhere was four and a half hours on a Thursday morning at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

I have visited before so it was like seeing old friends. I stopped to gape at the Van Gogh for a while then continued on to see other treats. After the Charles Boule clock I pulled up a chair to sit and study Luca's work closer than before.

The tools are fascinating, but there was this little chair on the opposite side of the painting that kept pulling my attention. Obviously post and rung, with a woven seat. I quite like the shape to the crest rail and the leg turnings are familiar yet whimsical. At the museum I scribbled a couple gesture drawings in my sketchbook and I've redrawn it once a day since, I'm chasing the form and trying to re-capture the indescribable something that catches my eye. Like teasing any solid reality from an artist representation it is elusive. Giordano could achieve with gesture, blending and tricks of light, I'm trying to work from a place of tangibility and hard lines.

I'm leaning myself more and more into chairmaking and after a dozen more drawings I might just have to dig out my old, falling apart copy of "Make A Chair From A Tree" and start cracking.

But first there will be a small interlude.

Ratione et Passionis


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