Posted on March 9, 2012
A while back, a visitor to my market stall in Port Douglas commented something like "what will you do when you're not allowed to use rainforest hardwoods any more". Considering that about 80% of the wood I use is already 'eco' (sustainable sources or recycled/salvaged), I replied with a bit of a snigger "it doesn't worry me ... I can make nice work out of radiata pine if I have too". So, here's some proof.
I have been buying this wonderful fully dressed 290 x 35 mm plantation pine from a supplier (Quality Timbers) in Mareeba (Australia). Originally, I began using it for some personal furniture projects which ultimately got painted. My house is mostly built of unpainted wood ... about 100 years ago ... so, I tend to opt for painted items whenever I decide to add furniture pieces.
Since the wood is really dry and pretty straight, I've been looking at other ways of using this interesting resource.
One of the processes I've earmarked is to laminate the boards up and use the resultant form as the raw material for sculpture ... just like I did with plywood in my Dance me sculpture.
Recently, it also occurred to me that I could make really nice shallow bowl forms. The accompanying pictures show the first two I've created.
Pine is fairly soft ... relatively ... and although a lot of commercially available serving ware is made from pine, I wouldn't like to say straight out that these are functional forms ... although they can be with care.
The light honey colour and grain pattern in this wood is exquisite. There are lots of opportunities to let the final shape of the form follow or be influenced by the pattern inherent in the wood ... which makes for a very 'organic' resultant form.
More images of these works can be see here.
Bob Gilmour is a sculptor and homewares designer / maker based near Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, Australia. His studio is located in Julatten on top of the Great Dividing Range.