Parisian, Evolution of the Wheel #94
Title: Parisian, Evolution of the Wheel #94
Artist: Jim Keller, US
Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 5 in.
Object ID Number: 2016FFJKe2
Object Number: 2016FFJKe2
Notes: I am pleased to be asked to participate in Flashback - Fast Forward, the current exhibition organized by the Center for Art in Wood. As I close-in on my 100th wheel, I remember the many lessons that have shaped my career as a sculptor. I developed two different style “Wheels” - multi-axis, and as a museum curator labeled them, “doughnut style.” “Parisian” is a great example of a doughnut style wheel, turned from the root ball of a mesquite tree. “Parisian” is # 94 in the “Evolution of the Wheel Series.” Working on multi-axis wheels, I learned how variation in the angle and location of the center of the various axis enhanced the visual impact of the finished sculpture. I felt free to experiment with many variations in the relationship of the turning axis to each other. I tried several variations that did not work, which was just as valuable a lesson as identifying the variations that enhanced the ultimate design of the object. As I continued to create doughnut style wheels, I tuned in to how grain patterns, the various colors in heart wood and sap wood, and naturally occurring voids contributed to the overall aesthetic of the sculptures. As a sculptor working with wood, my philosophy is that as I create a form, I am creating a picture frame to display the natural beauty of a piece of wood and I shouldn’t mess it up. I like to start with a raw log. I will spend time looking at the log from every angle to gain an understanding of the character of the individual piece of wood. Once a cut is made into the wood a decision has been made that can’t be reversed. I have been honored over the past few years to have four of my “Wheels” included in permanent Museum collections. In the fall of 2015, 33 wood, resin and bronze sculptures I created were exhibited at the Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.