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Reading the Wood
The balancesubtle explorations of the possibilities to unite material, imagination and hand are as viable and current today as they were 36 years ago. We have made over 1000 pieces since 1979. In times of turmoil, this artist's work can bring us back to nature and evoke emotion, perhaps a smile.
The place -- Oregon"mist so fine, you must look twice to see it -- you don't even feel it"
except you get awfully wet walking through a forest. The plants looking up, drinking the mist -- a bright spot in the sky, sun glistening a little bit, through cloud covers -- and the green, infinite shades. A spot in the mountain's forest, it feels as if the trees and plants want to grow so fast as if to cover us up -- fold us into an almost warm, moist, womb.
The mantra"eliminate preconceived notions"
The materialThe stone that the builder refused will always be the head corner stone. The things people refuse are the things they should choose.
-- Bob Marley
Each tree and each part of the tree has an ultimate purpose.
-- George Nakashima
We work this material as an instrument to fashion useful objects, possibly if so willed a thing of beauty -- in any case a joining of the rhythms of nature to fulfill its destiny and ours.
-- George Nakashima
The wayLike my ancestors, I use my eyes and my hands. The eyes to observe nature for form, for material, for function. It is from nature that my creativity derives. The connection with the object and natural phenomenon is constant, rigorous, and faithful. The hands are for defining -- shaped, polished and chiseled -- to be re-seen in concrete form so as to be compared with memory that inspired.
The objectThe great beauty of nature's jewels -- gold, silver, diamonds and pearls -- are hidden at the beginning in their rough state. So it is with wood we work the pearls of the forest. Our object is to take this wood with all its history, to learn its ways and make it into things of natural beauty -- functionally organic.
For more information
or for more information
about Michael Elkan's extraordinary pieces of furniture, contact
The Real Mother Goose
in Portland, Oregon.
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