by Thurman Mason
". . Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
A Collaborative Affair
natural edge spalted cherry
The dictionary defines "art" as "something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. : works created by artists : paintings, sculptures, etc., that are created to be beautiful or to express important ideas or feelings.
My art expresses an idea that is very important to me. It is the idea that we are not here as the result of some cosmic accident. I am persuaded that our highly complex human consciousness could have never evolved from nothingness -there are not enough eons in all of eternity to adequately explain the exquisite beauty and order that exists in our universe. It is foolish to hold that order and design could have ever developed from a lifeless primordial soup brought about out of nothingness.
The more elegant explanation for creation assumes the existence of a Creator, a conscious being who is aware of his own existence as well as that of his creation. A Creator who is intimately involved in the day to day, moment to moment affairs of this created universe. He reveals much about his character and nature as we observe the universe he has created.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20
Hopefully you can see some of these qualities in photos from the Hubble telescope, or data from the Hadron Collider, and perhaps the figure and chatoyance of the wood that I sculpt.
Art is many things to many people. It can often be thought of in terms of collaboration. For example, musicians often collaborate when writing a song, filmmakers collaborate to create a movie and politicians collaborate to form new governments
My art is a collaborative affair with nature; with the Creator Himself. He is the Great Artist - I am his helper. My role in the affair is the lesser one - His the greater. I am blessed with this opportunity to use my imagination and skill to reveal the beauty of the natural world that is all around us yet remains out of sight until revealed by this collaborative work. I can say with all confidence that our pieces are one-of-a-kind. As different as snowflakes, they are unique and will never be replicated.
O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed
Stuart K. Hine - 1949
I could live to be 100 years old but there would always be woodturners more skilled than me. While I endeavor to continually work on my craft, the better part of me remains an artist, not a craftsman. Though the two often appear inextricable, for me, art must always trump craft.
I hope you find as much beauty and inspiration in these carved wooden pieces as I do. Unlike the wood, stone and metal gods of the past, these pieces are not objects of worship, they are testament - inspiring worship and I am truly blessed to be able to work with such a great collaborator. It is never my desire that these works of art should confer glory on me, but rather, all glory should go to Him - without whose collaboration I could produce no art at all.