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Wood: Sculpted Fired Carved Painted at AFA

Wood: Sculpted Fired Carved Painted at American Folk Art and Framing

Block constructs. Kent Ambler, artist

American Folk Art and Framing celebrates one of nature’s contributions to art with Wood: Sculpted Fired Carved Painted on display at the gallery Wednesday, October 4, through Tuesday, October 24. A reception will be held Friday, October 6, from 5–8 p.m.

“Wood is a foundational, yet sometimes inconspicuous, element here at American Folk Art,” says gallery owner Betsey-Rose Weiss. Artists represented at her gallery, she says, are fi ring their pottery in wood-fi red kilns, creating sculptural forms by carving and manipulating wood and using it as a canvas to paint upon.

Kent Ambler has been a full-time artist for 21 years. “I primarily work in the wood-cut medium,” he says, “which is basically the oldest form of printing. I carve images into woodblocks and use them to print small editions (no digital, just old-time low-tech).”

After printing, he cuts the blocks into small fragments that “retain the texture of the carving and the stains from the ink colors,” he says. “I then reassemble the pieces to make sculptural quilts that I call ‘block constructs.’”

Ellington Pottery is celebrating its 35th year, says owner Kim Ellington. “I opened my fi rst shop soon after graduating from the Haywood Community College production craft/ pottery program.”

Her pieces for this show represent pottery from her latest fi ring in July. She uses a wood-fi red ‘groundhog’ kiln, a modification of the traditional Catawba Valley kiln, which she designed and built in 1999. She burns yellow pine with a typical fi ring cycle of 18 hours, creating unique finishes on each piece.

Other artists represented in the show include Neil Cobb and Michael Banks, whose sculptures derive from old hickory tobacco sticks and salvaged driftwood; Shawn Ireland and Michel Bayne who create their pottery pieces using wood-fi red kilns; Minnie Adkins, Kentucky’s most famous whittler and Louisiana bird carver Ivy Billiott.

“Wood is getting the spotlight in October,” Weiss says, “which seems appropriate as we notice the beauty of the leaves putting on their autumnal show outside.”

American Folk Art and Framing is located at 64 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit amerifolk.com or call 828.281.2134.

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