Thursday, May 15, 2003

I just got back from shooting segments for the pilot of a show that will showcase local artists. The pilot will feature sculptor Brian Challis. He is doing four sculptures commissioned by a hospital. We went to his house and it's a work of art itself. The floor in the entry consists of squares of white oak that he culled from lumber scraps. The chandelier in the front room is suspended from a wooden chain carved from a single large piece of wood. The floor in the back rooms is beautifully crafted from 3" x 7" pieces of apple wood from an orchard that was being dismantled. There are 7000 pieces of wood in that floor, each 5/6" thick. The finish is so perfect you'd think it was linoleum.
He also has many of his works of art in his home. In addition to his bronze sculptures, he has crafted several Escher-like mobius sculptures that have my mind reeling and some impossible trinkets carved in wood. One of these is a wooden arrow complete with head and feathers that are larger than the shaft, all from a single piece of wood. There is a metal nut tightly hugging the shaft, begging the question, how did he get it there? Just before we left, he gave us a pair of pliers crafted from a matchstick. It was great to watch him work and see the results. It all comes down to one of two possibilities: either he's a master artisan or he just has a lot of time on his hands.
Below are photos of Brian and the hands sculpture.

Brian Challis polishing his sculpture.

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