some time I lived on a coffee plantation on the slopes of a volcano
called Mauna Loa. On the way to my home I had to pass several
bamboo groves and I was finally compelled to the decision of using
some of the poles in my artwork. Following several crude attempts
to manipulate the bamboo into a sculpture, I decided it would
be expeditious to do some research as to the accepted tools and
techniques of working with this unique material.
having scoured the Hawaii State Library system and the local bookstores,
I realized that there was very little technical information about
how to work with bamboo. I found few references about established
methods for creating a product of durable, artistic merit.
In 1990 after
continued research, this condition still remains largely
true. Given this lack of information, I started to experiment
with what was known about different species, harvesting and
curing procedures, preservation processes, and utilized even
those vague references to working procedures.After numerous
attempts and failures, I began to establish an understanding
of bamboo's unique working characteristics and limitations.
also experimented with the tools that were available in my sculpture
studio, developing my own techniques in using bamboo as an art
medium. Most of these tools were conventional power tools, and
consequently, many times had to be used in an unorthodox fashion
because of the unique physical characteristics of bamboo.
my architectural background, I also developed new joining methods
which responded to the difficult requirements of enduring sculpture.
Since having established my own working techniques, I have attended
many workshops featuring artisans of bamboo using traditional
tools and methodology, concluding that I can often perform the
same operations in a fraction of the time with my own methods.
using one of several methods of heat treatment to straighten,
color, clean and harden raw bamboo material.
to work with bamboo.
operations on irregular materials require a lot of invention.
tools are especially useful for repetitive operations if set
precision structures often require large set up jigs for certain
use a full scale layout drawing to guide me in the construction
process of my artwork - given some artistic license of course...
full scale layout also allows me to divide a large commission
into sections that will go together later with a high degree
of predictability (top portion of a 12 foot high by 8 foot
wide wall sculpture).
Doors - a work in progress...