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Yelena Synkova & Sean Cummings
City landscapes emerge from forms in the imperfections of locally found hardwoods, their grain and figure a reflection of the twists and turns of the urban environment. Further, points of anomaly invite moments of fissure in the otherwise solid fabric of the historical city. Cracks, spalting, and unusual growths naturally occurring in the wood are celebrated and the point of departure for illustration work relating to the part of urban Boston where they are found. Treeturn is from Boston--a collaboration between Yelena Synkova, woodturner and Sean Cummings illustrator / architect.
My art is hand made from simple materials, wood and paint. Most often times my sculptures and vases are turned on a lathe, although I would not call myself a wood turner, rather a wood carver. I seek the slow, calibrated effort that wood offers as a medium. Every meticulous mark requires deliberate planning and precision. Despite my ridged process, my goal is to produce work which exudes a visual language of growth and form. I adorn my work with repetitive yet complex patterns which hint of vegetal origins. One should look beyond my work’s medium and suggested function and imagine they are petrified fruits yielded by a long since perished, primordial garden.
The vessel form expresses the aesthetic of my work. These forms are grouped in two parts. One is ‘segmented’ and the other is ‘organica’. All are lathe-turned vessels. The segmented vessels are made of hundreds or thousands of slender precisely cut mostly exotic hardwoods which form intense and intricate patterns. No paints, pigments or stains of any kind are used, except in the maple bowls where the glue is tinted red. Otherwise, all colors are the natural color of the species. The organica are vessels formed from natural objects such as pinecones, blossoms, artichokes and other vegetative forms. The vessel is created through a subtractive process involving resin saturation and the lathe to reveal a beauty within the form usually hidden from view.
Spoon is a category, similar to bowl, plate, or teapot. Within each category are infinite varieties of form, size, texture, abstraction, color, and emotion. We understand this shape, (the spoon); it has a rich inherent symbolism though which the most ordinary aspects of our life are transfigured into something timeless. My goal is to explore that reservoir and carve sculptures that people will view as treasured objects. My spoons are sculptures and my sculptures are spoons. Public collections such as the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Renwick Gallery, the Yale Art Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Art Houston have added my carvings to their permanent collections.
We are always amazed at the inherent beauty of wood. We are especially fascinated in working with veneers, first because many of the most figured and exotic woods are available only in this form, but also because of the unique technical and design challenges presented to us when working with these fragile layers. From the beginning process of bending and shaping the veneer to the addition of the delicate details, each piece becomes an evolving sculpture. When we apply the final hand-rubbed finish to the completed work, the figure and colors of the wood come alive and the details we have added are instantly enhanced; each final piece is different from the last and is a continual source of joy and surprise.
My artwork is lathe turned vessels using very unusual, rare, wild and exotic woods. I incorporate classical shapes, inlays, tints, sculptural designs, the natural inclusions and formations of the wood into my sculpted vessels. I add organic, natural elements from around the world as an avenue for artistic expression. These seemingly different influences explore the concept of wood given to movement and to new art form. Each vessel is a unique piece of art. The finishes are of a special blend lacquer - similar to the surface treatment of pianos, guitars, and violins. The high gloss finish will breathe and move with the wood -lasting for the lifetime of the sculpture.