There is a great article about The Arm of the Kraken, and new work coming to Climate Pledge Arena this summer.
You can learn more about the making of The Arm of the Kraken here!
Something interesting emerged near the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal today. A 12′ tentacle was spotted near the Marler Clark Law Office on Bainbridge Island. It seems 2021 will be the year of the Kraken. This must be a sign that more interesting things are to come in the New Year.
In 2021, Seattle’s new Hockey team, the Seattle Kraken, debut at Climate Pledge Arena. Renowned Seattle glass artist, Preston Singletary and I are collaborating on a stainless steel and glass sculpture for the new arena campus. It will be installed as part of the arena project this year at Seattle’s iconic Seattle Center .
Two years ago, my neighbor Dan Hinkley, commissioned a series of carved “Guardians” for the entrance of Windcliff Nursery in Indianola WA. One of these took the form of a large carved tentacle. Similar in form to work I did in ceramics at the Kohler Factory in an Arts/industry residency almost ten years ago, these tentacles are on a much larger scale. Sculpturally, they are an exercise in form and fun.
The tentacle is located at the Marler Clark law office Near the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal. They are the nation’s leading firm in foodborne illness outbreaks. They work to make sure that the food we eat will be clean and safe to consume.
Making a “Guardian” for Marler Clark seemed like a prefect project for people in the business of guarding food safety for all of us.
For the near future we all have to be the guardians of one another in our community. When you are at the ferry terminal, enjoy the “Arm of the Kraken”, and remember the crucial work being done right here.
A second-growth red cedar log was chosen for the tentacle. The log was of size and weight that some help would be needed. My friend Spencer West of West Woodworking had the log, a little bobcat to move it around with, and a place to carve.
The log wast flattened on two sides so that the tentacle profile could be drawn.
The profile is cut out
The tentacle form is carved with facets
Facets are then rounded off.
Suckers are then roughed out.
Basic sculptural work is done with an electric chainsaw, electric power planer, and a Lancelot blade on a 4″ grinder
The tentacle is then refined by hand carving and texture adzing with a d-adze.
It is painted with exterior flat latex paint, it is applied as a series of washes with opaque details.
Bainbridge Island resident and artist Will Robinson helped us on installation day.
Thank you to Bill and Julie Marler, and the whole Marler Family
A very special thanks to: Eleanor Reynolds, Ryan McPhail Fluid Concrete and Design, Spencer and Elizabeth West, Will Robinson, and especially to Joanne, my awesome wife, and my great kids, Sarah, Mikel, and Ruby.
This installation was made for the garden of a neighbor who travels the world collecting and teaching about exotic plants. He has thereby created an amazing garden at his home in Indianola WA. We have worked together on several projects over the years. He was interested in a series of posts for installation in his garden. He was interested in evoking some of the spirit of the Janseung (a type of totem-like carving from Korea) that he has encountered in his travels. Starting at this point I began to research and draw.
I think every artist dreams of being in a gallery show in New York City. It’s a total stereotype, and one that I am not ashamed to say that I too have carried around for years. One I have carried around without much hope of realization or much action on my part to make it happen. I just kept working, following my imagination and thinking maybe someday. One day, late last Spring it happened, and I got invited to be in The Plant Show at the 99¢ Plus Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Simran Johnston curated the show and did a spectacular job. The 99¢ Plus Gallery, in a repurposed discount store, seemed like the perfect place in New York for my work. I started following them on Instagram and was thrilled to see that their previous opening had been shut down by the police. This opportunity was looking better all the time, and I had the perfect piece for the show. It was one of my favorites and was sitting in storage, waiting for just such a chance to be given a new life and purpose. Little did I know what would happen…
With gallery walls all painted green, and an intriguing cast of characters assembled, what Simran designed in the 99¢ Plus Gallery grew beyond what could have been imagined, and became a media sensation.
Congratulations Simi, and thank you for including me in such an awesome group and making dreams come true.
Please go on Instagram and check out #theplantshow to see all the great work, and for the entire surreal experience.
Press for the Plant Show:
This Tentacle installation has an interesting setting. It sits on a mantle I carved from fir in 2004 along with the panels on either side. The theme of the carvings were wind and water, with creatures from the water and the Moon on the right panel and creatures of the air and the Sun on the left panel. The mantle has wind and waves flowing out to their respective sides.
The Tentacles are a new contrasting sculptural element. They relate as a theme around the home and also to the carved Octopus on the top of the panel on the right. It is really amazing to work with such kind people who continue to appreciate your art as it evolves, and to see it all working together for a new effect.