This is the second collaboration I was part of at the WIT eXchange, this one with Connie Rayburn and Bina Rothblatt. In contrast to my first collaboration, Connie, Bina, and I came up with the concept for this quite quickly, right after getting “empty” and “balance” as our words: balancing objects on the rim of an empty, small-footed bowl. We all worked together on the main bowl, then split up to make objects to balance. I wanted to make a raw, chaotic, asymmetrical piece to contrast with the elegance of the main bowl, so I played with a reciprocating carver for the first time (loved it so much I bought one after I came home), then torched the edges. Connie turned a small version of the main bowl and another bowl that we decided to paint green. After playing on the lathe, Bina wasn’t satisfied with any of her objects, but she found a cool-looking scrap of wood burned to coal and cut off the tip to put on the rim. We painted the inside of the main bowl and its mini-me black to emphasize the emptiness, then added the base to emphasize the balance, painting it black for aesthetics. If we’d had more time we would have tapered the base to echo the curve of the main bowl. It took all three of us to find the balance of the objects, but we did—nothing is attached in this piece, all just balanced.
We discovered an interesting surprise after we finished: we had ended up balancing chaos and destruction (my carved object and the coal remnant) against growth and (re)production (the “baby” bowl and the green). The unconscious at work?