As my development of the Molded Driftwood Sculpture technique progressed from "Driftwood, Cubed" to "Pyramid Power" and then into the spherical forms of "Fire Bowl" and "Globe (Impaled)" I began to experiment with adapting my approach to include functional pieces.
Although Alaska driftwood is beautiful to look at, as a material the smaller sticks have characteristics that make them generally unsuitable for bearing significant loads. But although a single stick can be easily snapped, a bundle of sticks grasped together resist breaking and are much stronger than any one or two pieces alone.
With this concept as my guide, I crafted my first "functional sculpture" with the idea that if I incorporated a great many individual pieces of driftwood, and carefully attached them to one another so that weight was transferred to the legs evenly, the result would be a useable table that showcased this visually entrancing material in a unique way.
"Driftwood Table #1" was constructed upside-down in a 18" by 36" negative mold 8" deep, with the four legs positioned first and the rest of the tabletop built around them.
The glass top of the table planes across dozens of individual pieces of driftwood. The sides and underside of the tabletop also form smooth planes, as if each piece of wood in the sculpture is pressing outwards against an invisible shell.
The intricate arrangement of driftwood throughout the piece is visible from every side, creating a one-of-a-kind centerpiece that invites hours of mesmerizing contemplation.
"Coffee Table #1"
Functional Sculpture, 2014.
Alaska driftwood and adhesive; glass top.
18" by 36" (top 21" by 39"); 18" high.
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