Sculptural and Built-in

Westin Sails

Westin Sails

Commissioned through Art Initiative, an interior design firm in Atlanta, GA, this project is housed at the Westin National Harbor in DC. The three sculptures depicting sails in the wind are situated in three tall alcoves.

The photos also include in-studio shots and the original third-size- scaled maquettes.

Material: soft maple, stain
Dimensions (h x w x d): each approx.  39″ x 21″ x 10″
Year Made: 2008


The Opera Project- Preamble

While teaching a woodworking class at Penland School of  Crafts in NC, I met Jen Townsend, a silversmith who was also teaching that same session in the metals studio. Jen had begun work on a neck-piece depicting the central female character from a favorite opera . I had seen this art work develop from a block of green wax to an incredibly detailed, beautiful figure just 3 inches tall, in silver. View a video depicting the stages of its creation here.  Jen initially approached me to consider making a display for this piece as if on a stage setting. We talked briefly then, but a few months later, she really told me of her vision.

The project involved seven neck-pieces from seven operas, each set within a triptych ..to scale… to match the dimensions of the NY Metropolitan Opera stage. Jen also brought in the mixed- media and paper artist Sheena Graham-George, with whom she had collaborated before, to paint the interior stage set.

So, Jen in NY State, Sheena in Orkney Isles, Scotland, UK and I, in Atlanta, GA, began the exchange of ideas, the details and logistics of this exciting project. A fabulous vision that will probably keep us busy, on and off between our other art work, for a couple of years at least. More later on Jens future plans for these seven sculptures…..

For now, we are on a roll….

Jen has completed two neck- pieces, the figures of the Queen of the Night from the opera The Magic Flute, and that of the Princess Turandot from the opera Turandot. The third character, Isolde, from Tristan and Isolde, is very close to being cast in silver.

In my studio, with the sounds of those operas in my ears, the two stages are complete.  Sheena has completed the Queen of the Night panels and is beginning Turandot.

The three of us are feeling  quite pleased with ourselves and can’t wait to see the work so far, together, at the same location.

About the Triptych Stages

I basically decided to make them all in component forms to allow for positioning of the jewelery and the painted scenery at various times of completion.

The four main pieces consist of the main stage, the base, the roof and the doors with piano hinges.

The design considerations are the operas’ locations, scenes and moods  which the  three of us discuss and agree to reflect, in these sculptures. Each  triptych represents a new challenge with different design elements.

Material: various veneers on plywood, hardwood details, painted poplar, gold-leaf, LED flex tape lights, piano hinges
Dimensions (h x w x d): each approx. 45″ x 46″ x 8″
Year Made: 2012 through 2015


The Opera Project – Turandot

The Opera Project - Turandot

The Princess Turandot is the featured character in the second in the series of  The Opera Project. Still needing some tweaking, the shop photos here show the almost completed triptych with lighting. It lacks the actual neck-piece made by NY silver-smith, Jen Townsend (a paper copy of the neck-piece is hung in position).  Watch this video to see the making of the Turandot neck-piece.

The panels in the doors and interior are now with painter Sheena Graham-George in Scotland, UK for the scenery work.

Material: maple, poplar, zebra-wood veneer, paint, gold-leaf, LED flex tape lights, piano hinges
Dimensions (h x w x d): 39″ x 46″ x 8″
Year Made: 2012

Please view The Opera Project – Preamble for the vision behind this series.


Tree

Tree

Nature enthusiasts, tree lovers, my clients wanted “out-doors to come in”. I bought rough buck-eye boards, milled and built up the several layers that could be disassembled…in all, maybe 13 pieces, joining each before carving.  Almost all the work was done using  the band-saw and the two Arbortech power carvers. Only some areas were worked with hand tools.   I built a replica wall in my studio so the studs positioning dictated where the branches touched the wall  and where the screws and plugs would go.  Site work which included coats of water-based finish, with an assistant one day and solo work for three, heralded the resting of the two white birds ( client’s collection) on a cozy branch…not too far from an otherwise indifferent black snake!

Material: buckeye, dyes
Dimensions (h x w x d): 96 x 156 x 13
Year Made: 2003


Door

Door

Inspired by cross-sections of flowers and stamens, the door is part of the entry furniture that includes a large mirror and a wall coat hanger. (See also Vine and Stamen Mirror). Originally built for an Atlanta residence, all the pieces were re-installed in the owners’ home in Germany where they relocated.

Material: mahogany
Dimensions (h x w x d): 76 x 36 x 1.5
Year Made: 1990


Ma’at Unites – Four Panel Screen

Ma'at Unites - Four Panel Screen

Ancient Egyptian goddess of  the physical and moral law, Ma’at , unites Upper and Lower Egypt. All kingdoms were meant to adhere to her principles. Her symbol is the ostrich feather. Symbol of Upper Egypt (south) is the lotus and that of Lower Egypt (north) is the papyrus. The low relief applied carving depicts these symbols. A border of turquoise and gold-leaf represents the royal colors.

This screen was placed in the center of the client’s bedroom to separate the back of the head-board from the seating area.

The four panel screen  is reversible. The center panels can also be alternated. The lift off hinges that are embedded in-edge allow an almost 70° turn either way for each panel.

Material: cherry, mahogany, curly maple, veneers of maple and ribbon striped mahogany, color wash, lacquer finish.
Dimensions (h x w x d): 53 x 92.5 x 1.25
Year Made: 1996



Contact: phone: 404-292-4757
email: sabiha@chrysaliswoodworks.com

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