Title: Akai Maru
Artist: Michael Scarborough, US
Materials: Core, paint, varnish, 23K gold leaf
Dimensions: 1 3/4 in. dia.
Object ID Number: 2016FBMSc1
Object Number: 2016FBMSc1
Notes: The first week of April 2012 found me a tad crazed. Happy, but crazed. Five months before, I made my debut in the fine craft world at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, where the first piece I ever sold went to Albert and Tina LeCoff. The months in between had been spent crazily preparing for Craft New York, where, on the first day of the show, I was presented with the Award of Excellence. On the second day of the Craft New York show, an email arrived from Albert inviting me to be part of the Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled exhibit at The Center for Art in Wood. My initial response was, “Huh? Clearly, he has me confused with someone else.” As I began to peruse the roster of invited artists … names like Garry Knox Bennett, Michelle Holzapfel, Norm Sartorius … I immediately understood the feelings of a rookie major leaguer finding himself in the same game with and facing a veteran pitcher whom he has admired since childhood. The magnitude of the honor and of Albert’s faith in me slowly began to sink in. The Center had provided solid confirmation that I had made the right decision in pursuing a (second) career in the arts. That this essay is to accompany another exhibition four years later speaks volumes to the Center’s ongoing commitment to nurturing artists and to providing inspirational opportunities for growth. My CORES piece, Akai Maru, was by its very nature limited in size, and the Wakasa nuri lacquer surface was totally traditional. While I believe it is successful, it is also artistically very “safe” in its elemental nature.