I use my turned maple goblets as a canvas to capture my emerging understanding of the Southwest desert beauty around me.
I moved to the Tucson area for a little over 4 years after leaving Quebec, Canada where I lived for 20 years. During those 20 years, maple trees were an important part of my life. My husband and I harvested maple syrup, The maple forest shaded our home in the summer and the bare bark and branches created stark contrasts against the snow of winter. We burned maple to keep our house warm and used it to construct decorative elements in our home. Now, here in Arizona I put Southwest motifs on Maple to communicate my perspectives as an Easter Canadian trying to understand the strangeness and beauty of the Southwest.
The maple I use is selected to have a very straight grain that I feel complements, rather than competes with the design work. I burn the designs into the wood using a hot knife (pyrography) and sometimes use the hot blade to burn texture as well. The vibrant colors of the India inks help me to capture the stark color contrasts found under our Southwest sun. I often use the round goblet form to create “dialog” within the piece by concealing aspects of the imagery on the other side of the goblet.