Collapsible Bowl 2004
Wood can be incredibly elastic. If you study a tree in a storm, you will discover that it bends in the most dramatic ways as not to break. And yet, the convention is that trees are cut down and made into long, rigid planks that become the ubiquitous things of our material culture and built environment. This project is an example of what I call "Material Alchemy", which is a process by which the value of a material is changed - transmuted - by the intention that goes into how it is used.
By listening carefully to a material, even empathizing with it, imagining how it might feel under different circumstances, you can learn about all the other unconsidered things it could be. Material Alchemy is based on the notion that value does not inhere in the material stuff of the world itself. It does not assign a material essential qualities. Rather, it is in how the material is used that gives it its value and meaning.