Brenda Stein - Bellevue, TNhttp://brendastein.comhttp://brendastein.comshapeimage_2_link_0
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Brenda Stein

Wild Child, Sprout and Seedling are all part of a virtual exhibition called Voice of the Beloved Tree. In 2010, Vicki Jordan and world renowned woodturner John Jordan were advised to remove a 80 year old sugar maple that was a central presence in Vicki's family's life and those of her ancestors. In order to preserve the energy and essence of the tree, she and John distributed pieces of it to over 190 artists across the globe. All that was requested in return was images of the finished works. 

The maple blank entrusted to me lived in my studio freezer for over four years! After removal, it began decomposing quickly. I let Vicki know that it was too far gone to be a bowl, took a deep breath and put it on the lathe. What happened next will amaze you! lol What happened next - organically, not intentionally - was that a fertile belly appeared. Since I had released myself from creating a bowl, I followed my instinct. The orientation of the wood, the gorgeous figure in the fullest parts of the belly and rest of the torso harking back to the natural state of the tree, including saw marks, seemed to cry out to be created this way. 

After finishing the exterior and shortly before hollowing the inside out, I wondered, "What if there are viable bowls in there?" I carefully birthed these baby bowls, Sprout and Seedling. What you can't see on the inside, is that opposite the stretched "innie" belly button, is a very definite "outtie" protruding into the space. 

Most interesting is the fact that Vicki told me there are "baby trees" on ancestral property, in the vicinity of and probably originated from her grand Sugar Maple. I feel honored to be a part of this meaningful exhibition and grateful for the family's patience in the birthing process of these pieces.