A Change of Heart - Binh Pho


Being a "no dye in the wool" Krenovian, I believed that It's The Wood Stupid and K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid - odd how "stupid" seems to the underlying commonality) should be my guiding principles. To date, I've done little to adhere to the latter and am getting better at the former -but I keep trying.
So when David Marks and others "patina" an otherwise really nice piece, and/or gild it - I cringe a little. Poly, wth few exceptions dictated by the use of the piece, to me, borders on an abomination. Wood, with all it's wonderous grains and colors, should stand on its own - no paint or poly, no tints or dyes, no piercing, no texturing, no charring, no carving, no sand blasting, no gold leaf - as close to the raw wood the better.
Then I saw a photo of a piece by Binh Pho - on the cover of Woodturning, a British woodturning magazine. I'd thought Tom Plamann was the Anti-Krenov (and I mean that in the most complimentary way), but I was wrong. Binh Pho is so far at the opposite end of the spectrum from James Krenov that the two are side by side.
My woodworking world has been shaken - to its core, or rather its pith.
Krenovians - look her - if you dare
http://www.angelfire.com/il2/binhpho/images3/otomineurashima.jpg
and then explore his other works at
http://www.wondersofwood.net /
No matter what type of woodworking you do, you really should see this man's creations -in wood, an acrylic and gold leaf and... What's even more amazing is the man's history - he was a sophomore in college in Saigon when the Viet Nam War ended.
Inspirational is a word tossed about all to casually. Not in this case - Binh Pho's work is truly inspirational.
charlie b
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I had the privilege to see Binh Pho's work at a turning show last summer - The walls of his vessels are on the order of 1/16" thick and the airbrush artistry is outstanding. I understand through the turning grapevine that he's also extremely generous with his time and knowledge of turning.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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This Spring 2006 issue of American Woodturner has his "NOLA, Jass Me Once More" vase on page one. It's a piece he donated to the AAW Disaster Relief Fund. It sold for $6,000 which it seems was second only to Frank Sudol's "Spirit of New Orleans" at $6,601 (which is on the cover and page 6).
Charlie, I agree with you on the natural approach but the more I see the work out there that departs radically from "wood" the more I soften on the position. Arch did a muse on this, I think.
I think it's awesome art regardless of its medium. It stirs my soul and challenges my craftsman imagination as I wonder on how they achieved it. I would proudly display any of these on my mantle were I only well off enough to be able to buy such beauty. At least, I have pictures and instant galleries and websites like World of Woodturners where sometimes the artist will even explain how he accomplished something.
For one thing, "art" based on a craft like woodturning or woodworking involves much more than just design, i.e. pop art's simple, minimalistic products. That need for skill brings a "WOW' factor to the piece. Truly cool combination of physical dexterity, engineering, and design inspiration resulting in something that simply looks really neat.
TomNie
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This Spring 2006 issue of American Woodturner has his "NOLA, Jass Me Once More" vase on page one. It's a piece he donated to the AAW Disaster Relief Fund. It sold for $6,000 which it seems was second only to Frank Sudol's "Spirit of New Orleans" at $6,601 (which is on the cover and page 6).
Charlie, I agree with you on the natural approach but the more I see the work out there that departs radically from "wood" the more I soften on the position. Arch did a muse on this, I think.
I think it's awesome art regardless of its medium. It stirs my soul and challenges my craftsman imagination as I wonder on how they achieved it. I would proudly display any of these on my mantle were I only well off enough to be able to buy such beauty. At least, I have pictures and instant galleries and websites like World of Woodturners where sometimes the artist will even explain how he accomplished something.
For one thing, "art" based on a craft like woodturning or woodworking involves much more than just design, i.e. pop art's simple, minimalistic products. That need for skill brings a "WOW' factor to the piece. Truly cool combination of physical dexterity, engineering, and design inspiration resulting in something that simply looks really neat.
TomNie
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"Tom Nie" pondered and illumed us with this gem...

You bring up an interesting and valid point Tom.
When I see a lot to things in the world, I have a fairly good idea of how it is made and how much work, machining, materials costs, etc goes into making it. This might be a considered a very rough estimate of how much it would take me to duplicate it. My wife is the same in some areas that she is good at.
Then there are those items that you have no idea how they made. You have no idea of how many hours they spent at it. And at times, you don't even know the material they use. Or if you could buy it and where a source may exist for it.
There is a definite WOW factor there. They got one by this old curmudgeon.
You gotta give them points for that.
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