Steam-bent woodBremerton, WA
Steam-bent wooden sculptures and home decor items are made using a special process that I have developed. It is similar to wooden boat building only with smaller objects. Sculptures are built from Oak or Walnut wood strips that are steam bent and then laminated and finished. The majority of my pieces are free-standing Great Blue Herons approximately 24 inches high. I also build bookshelves, lamps, larger herons, ducks, eagles and orcas. I have two-dimensional versions of Great Blue Herons that can be framed and mounted on the wall like a painting.
Each piece is unique. Although they are created in the same molds, the individual wood strips which are laminated into shapes have different characteristics (eg. different species, grain patterns and colorations) and I sometimes vary the wood direction. Because of this each wood strips bend differently, and retain their shape differently. To a large extent, the wood decides what the final piece will look like.
When I retired in 2015 from years as a computer server engineer, I wanted to do something creative and build something unusual. Steam-bent wooden sculptures is the medium that I selected. I had been doing wood-working in my spare time for many years on many different, typical projects… nothing unusual. I saw a bent-wood sculpture in a gallery in eastern Canada about 15 years ago. I was impressed with the elegance and simplicity and upon examination determined that this was something that I could do. Since there were no instructions and I had seen nothing similar, I developed this process through trial and error and became able to create several types of sculptures.