Elegant Forms
April 3, 2009
Entry Details

# 830
David Linden
Glen Allan, MS
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   5
  Height:   11.5
  Depth:   5
Materials:   Magnolia wood and milk paint
Stylized fish forms of Danish Modern simplicity are set off by negative space and arranged in a repeating pattern to emerge as a water ballet.  The spiraling tails give the figures motion and direction, and the viewer can anticipate the group breaking the surface.

Milk paint was used to obscure any figure in the wood, which would interfere visually with the twist and flow of the spirals.  The use of white and blue not only suggests a water environment, but also provides needed contrast, especially at the head where the lack of shadow tends to make the fish blend in with the background.  The opaque paint adds to the mystery of construction, which is meant to be part of the appeal of this piece.

After the outside shape was formed, the spiral areas were laid out and holes were drilled in the negative space to provide a start for the carving process later.  The inside was then hollowed on the lathe, leaving the wall thick in the middle of the spiral and tapered toward both ends to accommodate the twist of the spirals.  Waste wood was initially cut out with a portable jig saw started in the drilled holes.  Carving was done primarily with hand tools and in part with a rotary hand piece and a cylindrical bur while the work was mounted on an adjustable carving stand.

A rim representing waves puts the fish just under the surface and adds to the kinetic energy implied in the piece.

Judges Comments
CD : Good idea, with a lot of thought put into each of the design components. Well made, too. I do not have a problem with coloring wood. It makes the viewer wonder what medium it is, adding to the mystique of the piece. The spirals are a good idea, but I feel they are a bit too large. The spirals distract my eye away from the other very nicely done details.
DE : A very nice idea and execution with complementary elements of the fish that helps define the form as does the subtle color palate. I love the twist at the apex of the belly of the form. The base, however, is unnecessary and does compete with the overall form.
TB : Congratulations on entering this competition. Just the process of creating a piece for a themed exhibition helps you push your creativity and your work to the next level. Interesting concept. I wish that I could see the wood in at least a portion of the piece. It almost fees ceramic with it all being painted - which isn't bad just a preference for me.

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