Had a close look at some pieces of boat keel that have been offered to me for my sculpture project. I think they might be made of teak and they are huge. Too heavy to even turn over. They have been left in scrubland for years and so the undersides are rotting away. They are also full of hidden metal fittings – a carpenter’s nightmare.
When I saw them a few weeks ago my first reaction was that they were of no use to me – and then I thought about it a little more.
Most of my sculptural work has involved cutting and assembling modest sized pieces of wood that are manageable within my small workshop. This has allowed me to create large scale works from small scale pieces. Another advantage is that I can create quite intricate forms that would be impossible through carving. (Take a look at some of my sculptures in the about rob section to see what I mean).
These large lumps of potentially beautiful wood have made me think again and to perhaps conceive some forms that, firstly, might result from carving a block of wood but, secondly, might emerge from the actual shapes of the pieces of keel or stern post. The stern post has a lovely curved backbone running down its length for instance. I need to sit and stare at it some time to see what might emerge. Maybe its time to get the chainsaw out and try big scale carving?
I suspect there is an interesting story behind these pieces which may have an influence on what I produce.