|NIGHT ON CLOUDS (2002), BY STEPHEN GLEASNER|
ACQUIRED FROM JERALD MELBERG GALLERY, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, OCTOBER 2003
AIRBRUSHED, LAMINATED, AND CARVED PLYWOOD, 13 1/4" HIGH BY 9 1/4" IN DIAMETER, SIGNED AND DATED BY THE ARTIST
This work by Stephen Gleasner is simply amazing... from across the room, it almost looks like glass, but it's actually laminated plywood!
After assembling plywood shapes (each ring of the vase is made by gluing together four pieces of plywood, which are then warped into a circular shape) into a rough vase shape, Stephen adds a solid wood base and a ring of wood around the opening to strengthen and stabilize it. He then turns the entire vase on a lathe, smoothing out any rough edges and producing a flawless surface. Once the form is complete, he airbrushes the vase with a variety of water-soluble pigments, whose values vary automatically because of the relative qualities of the wood rings in the plywood... each ring is not painted separately. They just come out that way naturally. (This is a good example of the artist allowing the materials to determine their own appearance, rather than trying to force them into a particular configuration.)
Finally, Stephen coats the entire work with layers of clearcoat, to protect the pigments and to enhance the appearance of the work.
As I said, the result of all of this is amazing... normally, I am not a big fan of works in wood, but the effect that Stephen has created is quite unique. I especially like the way this work seems to amplify any light that shines on it.
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