The Ripples series seems to have been destined to happen in 2017 in reaction to two different forces of influence with parallel themes. A condensed story is that mid summer I received a voicemail from a lady seemingly in distress regarding some cherished materials that had been stowed away safely by a dear friend whom had recently passed away. Her fright was that if the steel rings in question did not find a new home very quickly they were in line to be sent to the scrap dealer. When we connected on the phone, I was informed that this lady had been to my studio before and was hoping that I could drop what I was doing and coordinate to arrive at the shop of her friend and retrieve the rings almost immediately. Learning of where the shop was I shared that I was an acquaintance of the owner, Nick and had been to his shop in the past. The last time I had connected with Nick was during a visit he made here to an early open studio several years ago. During that visit Nick and I had a conversation about these exact rings. He was very curious as to the process of making my spheres.
Nick explained how the rings were drop in his process for stove making. They had been flame cut from 1/4 inch steel plate and three different sizes had been accumulating from different sizes of stoves. He shared his excitement of the thought of seeing these rings used in the creation of a sphere. He offered up that it was actually improbable that he would ever pursue this all the way through and that he was considering offering them to me for use in my own studio. I encouraged him to think on the spheres for a bit before making that decision. It was the last time I crossed paths with Nick.
So, arrangements were made to arrive at Nick’s shop and retrieve the rings. It did not take long to start seeing different arrangements of these fine rings in the construction of spheres, just as Nick had suggested. At the same time, I could not help but think of the parallels of this collection of rings and the collection of shear rings that had been bequeathed to me by my buddy, David McLaughlin.
There was a fair amount of time grabbing two fists full of rings from under the bench and then walking them to the van. This is the type of time when my mind works more than my physical output. I could not help but reflect on the significance of David’s thoughtfulness to offer up his most cherished raw material for me to continue with the subject of spheres. The results from my efforts there to satisfy David’s wish and push the series beyond where either of us had taken it before, have been instrumental in the successes that have been experienced in the arena of art, both private and public. This type of reflection, and lots of thoughts regarding life itself, went on for days and days.
As multiple perspectives regarding the rings were contemplated at the same time as all of these ponderings of life, the theme of Ripples being a series of spheres was born. It is my privilege to introduce you all to Ripples I, also known as Oneness.
Oneness seems to me to be a great visual representation of raindrops on the surface of the water all around the world. You may notice that the larger rings are broken up by progressively smaller rings. The smallest rings are left complete. This is much like the surface of a pond when you are watching a slow falling rain. These ripples all blend together and affect each other. After some amount of time each ripple has had an effect on ripples all the way around the sphere. This could also be used to demonstrate how the choices we each make through our entire lives have the potential to affect so many others. A good parallel with the currently popular topics of mindfulness and interconnectedness.
It is my intent to explore the concept of Ripples and to push on the boundaries of expression with these rings and others for some time to come. I honestly do not see an end to this exploration and it is so well matched to universal mindsets of getting on track to make this world a better place for those we leave it to………being aware of the consequences of almost every single decision we make from day to day. It was fun to explore with other raw materials such as the horseshoe spheres. The amount of different expressions that have been created with the same raw material is rewarding in it’s own way. I expect to push this series even further. Here is an image of Ripples II.
So, you get an idea of the approach with different expression. These spheres are on the light side for materials I prefer to work with. During the stroll out the Rockland Breakwater with each sphere on different days, their delicacy was noted in many flat spots after the experience. These were easily worked out with a four pound hammer and any little undulations in the surface that do remain are certainly adding some character and represent the journey down the breakwater and getting a little real life experience with the real life effects of ripples!
There will be much more written on this subject as time goes on and more spheres in the series are created. It is a privilege to share this emotional dimension of some of the happenings that take place around here. This has become my life and I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support along the way. It is a very rewarding position to be in when I have the opportunity to create and especially to use reclaimed materials. “Rewarding” really doesn’t seem to go far enough when trying to express the heartwarming sense of gratitude that I get to express with these particular spheres. Creations made with a raw material that was Cherished by its previous owner and ended up in my hands. I did not have the chance to thank either gentleman for their thoughtfulness in person. However, I can do it by fulfilling their personal vision to see these materials honored for what they represent……….that’s what I do.