We took a drive up to Salem on Saturday to the Peabody Essex Museum to see a new exhibit, Audacious: The Fine Art of Wood. There were some really beautiful pieces, including the one above that emphasized the tree in wood, as well as ones that disguised wood so it appeared as painted ceramic in vases or, in one of my favorites, as hawk and owl feathers.
There were intricate works made up of thousands of bits of various woods glued together and turned on a lathe to buff the surface to perfect smoothness, and there was a magnificent globe-shaped vase made from one hefty piece of ponderosa pine. Several works turned the deformed growths of tree burls into graceful sculptures, highlighting the beauty of their peculiar defects.
It was a lovely break from this winter's torments of snow and cold. The day was sunny and dry, with no immediate precipitation, though alas more snow was to come on Sunday night - a couple of inches more, just enough to coat the filthy snowbanks. After the exhibit, we had a bite to eat just down the walkway at Rockafella's, in what used to be an old bank, in a sunny if a bit chilly booth by the windows. I couldn't help thinking that the homemade potato chips they served us looked a bit like swirly wood sculptures themselves. Fortunately they were much tastier.
You can see more of my photos from the exhibit and the PEM here.