Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Solar Flare(s)

The annual AAW auction has come and gone. It's always exciting to hear the bidding, although I tend to hold my breath while it's happening. Mojave sold for $850. I'm happy with that.

Solar Flare
One of my newer pieces is Solar Flare #2. I did the original Solar Flare a few months back for mine & Mike's Turned and Burned exhibit. It garnered enough attention that I was asked to do a slightly larger version. Having run out of ideas for names, Mike chose to simply call it Solar Flare #2. Doing pyrography on these pieces was a challenge because I'm so used to burning designs on bowls now that a flat surface gave me pause. For these "board bowls" I still had that central bowl, but what to do with the larger flat surface all around?

The first time Mike sent one of these pieces to me, I stared at it for quite a while, put it away, brought it out to stare at it some more, put it away, brought it out ... I needed to find a way to bring the two disparate parts together into one of unity. Mike said it's incredibly difficult to shape the bowl in the middle of the board. It's all of a piece, not two separate pieces glued together, so he needs to shape this perfect bowl that seemingly floats in the middle of a large plane. It takes some patience and care for him to get it perfect. For me, though, it was an odd juxtaposition of shapes that left me questioning why you would want a bowl in the center of this expanse of flatness.

Solar Flare #2
Since I don't plan things in advance -- sometimes I think it's due to a lack of patience -- I decided to tackle the central bowl first and do what I like to do best: creating circular rows of varying design elements. Then I hit the flat surface and panicked. Now what!? What could I burn that would add value to the design on the bowl? What I burned on the flat part needed to of equal importance or it would look unbalanced. I'm never sure if the choices I make are good or bad, just that I try to let the piece dictate where it wants to go. Sometimes when I'm done I'll think, oops, shouldn't have done that, wrong direction. Or I might think, well, that came out okay. I'm hoping I managed to create pieces that have unity and are balanced, that no one design element detracts from the whole but holds its own visually, contributing to the overall design.