MCW Sept. '14 Program
Sep 13, 2014Public
Photo: Gary Guenther introduces our demonstrator for the evening, the illustrious wood artist from Washington State, Molly Winton.  We have asked Molly to split her demo into two parts -- 1) artistic expression, form, and design, and 2) pyrography.
Photo: This is an early example of Molly's explorations with pyrography and branding on hollow forms that she used to develop ideas along the path to finding her signature style.  She keeps this piece around so we can see how far she's come.
Photo: Here's one variation of her signature horse pattern, with texturing, above her basket weave pattern, on a "black-on-black" hollow form.  This is the kind of work Molly will show us how to do.
Photo: Molly began by telling us about her background and how she turned her passion for turning and burning into a new career.  She said: "Since childhood I have always had an interest in Native American cultures, lore, and artwork. I have also been fascinated by prehistoric cave drawings and petroglyphs. These interests have served to be an inspiration for my artistic interpretations."
Photo: She felt that she couldn't draw, so she learned how from this children's book...
Photo: ...that shows how to break down an image into it's component parts, one line at a time.
Photo: She decided she liked horses and looked through many images to find something that would translate easily to wood.
Photo: Here's a nice, clean style -- representative but a bit abstract, without too much realism -- but how to do it?
Photo: It all begins with two lines -- see the board behind her.  The underbody stroke comes first, and then the chest...
Photo: ...followed by a more complex stroke for the head with jowls and ears, another for the neck and back, and a final one for the rump.
Photo: Add two lines for the tail, and you have a horse perfect for burning in wood!
Photo: In a similar manner, Molly showed, step by step, how her sea urchin design comes about, one line at a time.
Photo: And then she showed a finished example of the sea urchin.
Photo: Always searching for something new, Molly also came up with this trilobite pattern.
Photo: In her beginning days, Molly was influenced by the classic "Greek" style hollow forms by turners such as Art Liestman, and she did her decorating on a traditional design with a formal collar.  But something didn't look right.
Photo: Molly got an honest critique from Don Derry, who proposed that Molly's rustic Native American artwork didn't quite mesh with the classical "Greek" form.
Photo: Her modified form, in her right hand, incorporates a new style for the top and opening that is more traditionally "Southwest" in style.
Photo: Additionally, the foot of her early model was too pronounced, so that the piece appeared to sink into a table instead of rising above it.
Photo: Her modified design incorporates not only a different mouth but a turned-under foot, as well.  The changes resulted in her being invited to have her work showcased in the famous 'del Mano' Gallery.
Photo: Molly then started experimenting with different shapes for the openings -- with proper planning during turning, they could be carved off the lathe.
Photo: Here, Molly represents the piece as if it were still on the lathe and discusses how she might leave extra wood at the rim in a size and shape that flows properly into the form she needs for later carving.
Photo: This variation, on the lip of one of her miniatures, is cut in a Native American "kiva steps" pattern.
Photo: Then she got the idea: "Why not square?"
Photo: That led Molly to design a pot with a square opening.