6"D 16"W 64"H
With a wide expanse of wood grain on show, the shovel’s broad blade is unique among our tools as it expresses the sweeping fluidity of grain movement, from the solid, almost black pinprick of an early branch growing in - see the echo of that truncated branch in each consecutive ring formed around that epicenter - to the curving arcs that follow the carved hollows of the blade as they meet the fattening of the handle. Carved from a solid mass of walnut and then turned so that wood meets iron in perfect geometry, each element of this tool has been considered by the artist’s hand.
Hand tools, both as implements of work and as symbols of a trade, are deeply entrenched in the physical and psychological construction of our history. Their place in our past is secure; however, their future appears less certain. Will these tools become curiosities of our collective past?
Utility -as a body of sculpture- is a depiction of objects designed for function alone. The reversal of materials, while rendering their function, is an exploration of the meaning of those materials and their literal strengths and weaknesses. From carving each head to sand-casting each handle, this series is an homage to hand tools, their construction and function.
Each piece is 1:1 rendering of the respective tool. The 59 inch by 9 inch shovel is mounted to the handmade frame with structural posts, painted out white like the background of the shadow box. The narrow Walnut frame includes a subtle reveal of wood around the inside on the box before it meets crisp, matte white paint.