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Wood Carvings

My Wood Carvings 1976 - 2023

I began exploring wood sculpture in the mid-1970s. Wood sculptures continued to be my most important sculptural works throughout my life.

Following are my wood sculptures in chronological order.

Gelassenheit (1976)

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Gelassenheit (Let it be). Black walnut. Pine Run, New Jersey. 1976. Influenced by Heidegger’s ontology of unfolding beings, I let the character of the log lead me to bring out the beauty of its colorful grain and core. I tried to form interesting sweeping shapes that portray and enhance the strength and solidity of the log’s mass.

Twisted Sister (1977)

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Twisted Sister. Cherry. Pine Run, New Jersey. 1977. Not influenced by E.T. (which it predated). This cherry tree trunk contained knots that became integrated into the sculpture. I opened up a space between two legs, which curved asymmetrically to define an interesting negative form. On one leg surface, I created a relief based on Indonesian sculptural traditions.

Atomic Power (1983)

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Atomic Power. Cyprus. Philadelphia. 1983. This slab from a large tree was found in a dump of tree trunks, cut down by the City. I refined the outline of the slab and poked a hole surrounded by carving marks.

The Owl of Minerva (1995)


The Owl of Minerva. Redwood. Niwot, Colorado. 1995. Influenced by Hegel. I enjoyed carving 4x4 redwood posts left from the deck of our Colorado house—easy to carve, retaining good edges, sanding smoothly, acquiring beautiful color when oiled and revealing strong, broad grain. Here, I not only opened a space between twisting legs, but also a large negative space at the head, drilling all the way through to form an eye. Gift to Alan.

Female Torso (1995)

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Female Torso. Cottonwood. Niwot, Colorado. 1995. Influenced by Bliss. A first attempt to represent a figure realistically. The sense of 3-D proportion was achieved primarily by the sense of touch.

Common Senses (1996)

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Common Senses. Redwood and mixed media. Niwot, Colorado. 1996. A fun project, representing the organs of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Gift to Zake.

Boulders (1996)

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Boulders. Redwood. Niwot, Colorado. 1996. Influenced by boulders in a mountain stream. Again, using redwood 4x4, but his time two pieces joined together to break out of the 4x4 limits.

Bird in Flight (2012)


Bird in Flight. White oak. Philadelphia. 2012. Based on Brancusi metal sculpture. This and the following pieces are discussed in the section below on “Creating a Set of Oak Sculptures.” Gift to Rusty.

Lap Sculpture (2012)


Lap Sculpture. White oak. Philadelphia. 2012. A sculpture to hold in your lap and cuddle.

Feminine Twist (2012)


Feminine Twist. White oak. Philadelphia. 2012.

Hermaphrodite (2012)


Hermaphrodite. White oak. Philadelphia. 2012. Carving interlocking openings.

A Sly Eye (2012)

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Sly Eye. Cherry wood. Philadelphia, 2012. Tim brought the log from his back yard. Exhibited at 2018 Members Show, Cotuit Center for the Arts.

Spirit of Cape Cod (2014)

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Spirit of Cape Cod. Wild cherry from the Stahl-Bliss woodlands in Philadelphia; base of London Plane wood also from the woodlands. Philadelphia. 2014. Inspired by the Cape Cod seashore waves and creatures.  Dedicated to Carol.

Upright Cherry Figure (2014)


Upright Cherry Figure. Cherry tree trunk from Tim. Philadelphia. 2014. Delivered by truck ride from Michigan to Boulder in 2002, but not carved until 2014.

Cycladic Baby (2015)


Cycladic Baby. English Plane Tree wood from tree in Philadelphia yard. Philadelphia. 2015. Based on Greek Cycladic stone sculpture. Gift to Ruby on her birth day.

Valdivian Owl in Tree (2017)


Valdivian Owl in Tree. Cherry wood. Chatham. 2017. Based on Valdivian owl stone sculpture in Ecuador.

Hickory Bivalve (2017)


Hickory Bivalve. Hickory wood from Philadelphia front yard. Chatham. 2017. This was from a solid log, dried for a decade and then extensively opened up with deep cuts and penetration of the core. Exhibited at 2018 Members Show, Chatham Creative Arts Center.

Mrs. Mayo (2018)

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Mrs. Mayo. Bradford pear wood from Mayo House yard in Chatham. Chatham. 2018. Maximally opened up with openings going throughout the mass. Exhibited at the 2018 Members Show, Chatham Creative Arts Center.

Sarasota Sea Shell (2018)

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Sarasota Sea Shell. Wild cherry wood from woodland in Chatham. Chatham. 2018.

Long Bird in Flight (2018)

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Long Bird in Flight. Wild cherry from woodland. Chatham. 2018. First outdoor sculpture.

Bite of the Apple (2019)

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Bite of the Apple. Apple tree log from John Hikade in Maine. Chatham. 2019.

Sea Goddess of the Cape (2019)

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Sea Goddess of the Cape. Sycamore wood from tree of Andy in Chatham. Chatham. 2019.

Hinged Forms (2019)

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Hinged Forms. Oak wood from tree of June in Harwich. Chatham. 2019.

Return of the Osprey (2019)

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Return of the Osprey. English Plane Tree wood from tree in Philadelphia back yard. Chatham. 2019.

Angel of Progress (2020)

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Angel of Progress. From cherry tree trunk from Ossining home of Alan & Bill. Chatham, 2020.

Saddle Curve (2020)

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Saddle Curve. Cherry wood log, base from tree of Alan & Bill. Chatham, October 2020.

Pod (2020)

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Pod. Oak wood log, base from tree of June in Harwich. Chatham, November 2020.

Reclining Man: Holes (2020)

Reclining Man: Holes. Holly wood log, from holly tree of Ann in Chatham. Chatham, December 2020.

Three-Tiered Structure (2022)

Three-Tiered Structure. Tier one and tier two from pine; tier three from cherry. Chatham, February 2022.

Globe Structure (2022)

Globe Structure. Cherry log. Chatham, February 2022.

Cedar Man (2022)

Cedar Man. Cedar log. Chatham, June 2022.

Honey Locust (2022)

Honey Locust. Locust log. Chatham, June 2022.

Cherry Twist (2022)

Cherry Twist. Cherry log. Chatham, December 2022.

Con-Struction (2023)

Con-Struction. Beech log. Chatham, January 2023.

Tupelo Honey (2023)

Tupelo Honey. Tupelo tree log. Chatham, February 2023.

Blue Heart Flame (2023)

Blue Heart Flame. Blue heart wood plank with oak and cherry. Chatham, July 2023.