Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 7, 2011

Reception Sunday for exhibit centered on wood

Lee Ward
The Independent

HUNTINGTON — Wood becomes art at an exhibit opening this weekend at the Huntington Museum of Art.

The exhibit, which opens Saturday, includes a variety of wood work, turned wood and sculpture from the Jane and Arthur Mason Collection. An opening reception is planned for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday with wood artists and crafters demonstrating, including wood turner Ervin Jones, who said he plans to complete a bowl with a natural edge and a small birdhouse during the afternoon.

“A wood turner uses a wood turning lathe to turn the piece of wood which is being shaped,” Jones, who had been turning wood for about eight years, said. “It is revolving, depending of the size of the piece, between 500 rpm. to 2500 rpms. While the piece is turning, I will use various tools called gouges to remove wood to create the shape that I want.”

Jones said most of the pieces he does are bowl shaped, which is also called faceplate turning.

“Most bowl turning is done while the wood is still green then left to dry. Once dry it will be sanded and finished,” Jones said. “Most pieces are for decorative purposes, but some could be used in the home such as salad bowls.”

Jones also makes Christmas ornaments and makes use to native hardwoods from the area, most of which were cut from a yard or fell during a storm.

The juried artist at Tamarack said wood turning is a hobby for him, although he does sell some pieces.

“It is almost like an addiction that, once you begin turning, you are hooked,” Jones said. His pieces also can be seen in the gift shop of the Huntington Museum of Art, at Canterbury Hill Studio, Gallery of Jackson in New Hampshire and Stone Art Studio of Hurricane, W.Va.

Jonathan Cox, an associate professor of art at Marshall University, sculpts in wood but will not demonstrate that process at the reception.

“I will not be sculpting since I will be indoors,” he said. “Most of my pieces are fabricated and require power tools like table saws.  I will have some examples of finished works as well as works in progress and some of the hand tools that I use.”

He received his first toolbox from his father when he was 4 and he and his dad built their house together and several boats.

“Most of my sculptures utilize methods, adhesives and woods that are often used in boatbuilding,” he said.

Cox said each form of wood art and craft is unique.

“I consider wood sculpting to be a broad heading that includes any process that yields a three-dimensional piece of art in wood,” he said of his own medium. “Wood carving would definitely be one of those processes and historically the oldest as well as the most popular.  Wood carving is also a reductive method of working utilizing mallets and chisels or power carving tools like grinders.”

He said many of his works combine wood with stone. An example is a piece called “The Discovery,” which stands at the entrance of the Huntington Museum of Art and is part of the museum’s permanent collection.

The exhibit “Turning Wood into Art: The Jane and Arthur Mason Collection” will open Saturday at the Huntington Museum of Art. A reception is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, at which time wood turners Charlie Brown, Ervin Jones and Tom Colley, wood worker Fred Friar and wood sculptor Jonathan Cox will demonstrate. A tree identification trail tour is planned for 3 p.m. April 17 on the museum’s nature trail.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.