Wild and wonderful wood at Circle Craft Gallery in September

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“Isn’t Art a Function?” features the works of Dennis Cloutier & Kerry Deane Cloutier and runs September 4 –  29, 2009 at the Circle Craft Shop & Gallery in Granville Island’s Net Loft.

Isn't Art a FunctionThis exhibition features a mix of unique art items as well as functional pieces such as bowls, pepper mills, and vases. The artists hope to blur the line a little between “functional” and “artistic” objects and to display a range of surfaces from highly polished to rough and textured.

The Cloutiers typically start their process with a log, which usually comes from the urban forest, trees that are salvaged from construction sites or removed because they present hazards. A chainsaw is used to cut the logs to manageable pieces and sometimes a band saw to mill the wood further before mounting it on a lathe. Some of the most important artistic decisions are made at the beginning of the process, how to make the most of the natural figure of the wood.

After milling, the blanks air dry for several years before they are ready for finish turning. Bowls are turned to a rough shape first so they will dry faster. The wood blanks are mounted on a lathe, which spins the wood. “Next, we hand hold gouges, which are used to peel off shavings of wood until we get the shape we want. Sometimes we do further carving or surface embellishment on the pieces after they come off of the lathe. Then, we hand rub a finish on each piece using either tung or walnut oil, both of which are natural nut oils.”

Dennis Cloutier was born on a farm near Legal, AB, and his family moved to St. Albert, AB when he was four. He grew up in St. Albert and attended the University of Alberta, where he obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He moved to Vancouver shortly after graduation. He worked as a mechanical and process engineer for 20 years before quitting to pursue his dream of being a full-time woodturner. Dennis made furniture for several years before discovering turning. He has been turning for approximately nine years.

Kerry Deane Cloutier was born in Edmonton. She attended the University of Alberta, where she obtained a B.Sc. in physics. After moving to Vancouver, she studied at the UBC Faculty of Law; she now works as a lawyer in Coquitlam. She is also the president of the Greater Vancouver Woodturner’s Guild. Her earliest craft background was in sewing and quilting. She later took up wood carving, and eventually, she and her husband Dennis took up woodturning together. She has been turning for about nine years.

More info at: www.runningdogwoodworking.com

Isn’t Art a Function?
Fri September 4 – Tues September 29, 2009 | Daily 10 am – 7 pm

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 3, 6-8pm
Circle Craft Shop & Gallery, 1 – 1666 Johnston St., Net Loft Granville Island
Free Admission

For information about other upcoming gallery exhibitions, visit http://www.circlecraft.net

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