When he created the sculpture Braeburn (pictured below), glass artist Micah Evans drew upon inspiration from an apple tree in the back yard of the house he grew up in.
It reminded me of the apple tree that stood in the backyard of my childhood home, across the country from Evans. The sculpture doesn’t look like the scraggly apple tree that offered us little green apples, but parts of the story Micah tells about the sculpture resonated with me.
Art has the power to stir emotions – sometimes narrative from the artist helps.
“This is the apple tree in the back yard of the house I grew up in. I was raised in a small farming town in Washington state surrounded by apple orchards. Small town communities are often close knit, conservative and simple. They are also dark, mysterious and inclusive. The security and shelter felt by those that live in these towns are often fractured and ugly at their core held together by fear and belief in God. I can’t decide why exactly I left, but I am glad I did.”
No narrative was needed to stir sweet emotions when I saw Singer (pictured above). I was immediately reminded of my mother at work on her Singer sewing machine, head bent toward the small light above the needle as she made clothes for her children.
Evans, currently an Artist in Residence at Penland School of Crafts, describes his work as being divided into two categories: Things he loves to make and things he HAS to make. He explains that the material drives the work he loves to make, because “I love to work with the material, therefore whatever I am making brings with it a genuine feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.”
And the work he MUST make? Many of you will relate easily to Evans’ explanation:
The work I can’t help but make are the ideas that won’t let me sleep, the ideas that have me drifting off in conversations to my own world of redesigning and problem solving. It’s the repeated execution of the simple shape that seems to inhabit every page of my sketchbook at the time. It’s exploring ideas over technique, and the struggles that come with that process. These two worlds often interact and I bounce back and forth constantly.
See more of Evans’ work on his Penland School of Crafts page
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