I wrote a few months ago about receiving a gift of grape vine roots from a friend who used to work at King Ferry Winery. (See post from December 13, 2010.) This is another piece made from those vines.
I love both rocks and trees. Just a few days ago I spent some time with my brother Chris and his family. My sister-in-law joked how the first time they came to our house in Ithaca she knew it was my place when she saw the bolder retaining wall in the back yard. Apparently my brother ALSO loves rocks! Sometimes when driving along a highway I am fascinated by trees along the road. It’s incredible how they grow in every possible crevice — sometimes out of sheer bedrock!
On one of those drives I thought I’d try to include such images in my sculpture. So back in the studio, I tried mounting branches between rocks, but I could not make it work. Instead, I just began mounting the branches or roots on stone bases. These lead into the “couples” series that I am still exploring. Sometimes (as in this piece) the two elements that comprise the couple are much alike. But often one is a natural element and the other a machined one, like a found table leg or spindle. However they come out, I am continually grateful to John for inviting me to the winery that day. I still have a barrel full of grape vine pieces. Each has a unique shape and character and piece by piece they find their way into new sculptures. Just like the trees growing out of rock, it’s another version of life’s longing for itself.