Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to Class 2

I was able to take a second class this week, Surface Design with Michael Hosaluk. Although I love wood grain and try to use it to greatest impact, I understand that surface ornamentation can have very positive results on a piece and I wanted to learn more about it. Mike has been using a number of procedures for altering the appearance of wood for years, and I was interested to learn his techniques.

The day started with a short talk on surface design and how it relates to form. Mike described his processes and his inspirations, drawing from his Ukranian background being surrounded with cultural colour and pattern. His thoughts toward design centre around unfearful experimentation, constantly trying new processes and learning from the results, whether sucess or failure.

He brought plenty of examples for inspiration and review.

Techniques covered included the use of paints, milk and acrylic.

Carving, by hand, reciprocating tool, powered burr, and angle grinder mounted cutters.

Woodburning, and gold and silver leafing were also covered.

After an introduction to all the methods, the class was given basswood blanks and free reign to try each technique in whatever fashion they saw fit.

I tried several procedures for the first time, carving in basswood, wood burning, gold leafing, layering and removing paint, and using resists.

Halfway through the afternoon the class stopped to show their work, describing their techniques, thought processes, and inspirations behind what they had done. Succeses and failures were discussed for the education of all.

I had enough time after the discussion to do a small piece encompassing all the techniques I had learned througout the day. I used relief carving, layered milk and acrylic paint, silver leaf, graphite, and wax to create this, a design I like and may tweak for use in the future. I left the class feeling creatively charged, and am excited to use these techniques in my work.

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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.