Seduction

2014  //   birch, nails, paint.

 

Seduction is inspired by turn-of-the-century wooden propellers, which were painstakingly made by hand. The piece uses the same materials and processes as early propellers. It’s form is the fine balancing act, the sense of freedom in flight, the allure of this new territory, and the physical, kinetic volumes created by the blades as they cut through the sky.

Part of a private collection.

 
 

Craftsmen of the early 1900’s used birch or walnut that was rough cut, glued into large rough forms, and laboriously chiseled to shape the blades. Once the shape was close, it was sanded to a fine finish, and carefully balanced on the axis of rotation. The final step of the process was to apply a lacquer finish. A precise balance is so critical to stable flight that the propellers were balanced in the end by a light brush stroke of lacquer on the lighter blade, adding that last few grams to bring it true.

The precariousness of this rough, artful process inspired the piece. Like Icarus, we were seduced by a daring escape to the skies – and the metaphor still serves for more contemporary innovation. There is craft, ingenuity, hubris, and risk all wrapped up in those spinning blades.