Artwork images courtesy of Mark May
The instinct to make objects that address the connection of humankind to Earth, and to the creatures with whom we share this planet, is as timely today as it is timeless. Animal effigy figures have inspired utilitarian vessels and ceremonial objects since the earliest forms of human expression. My efforts are directed toward bringing my own voice to this ongoing dialog.
It’s worth noting that these objects are not assembled from multiple elements. Rather each is sculpted from a single piece of wood. I work directly from the log-- fresh cut local hardwoods-- trees felled as a result of storm damage or otherwise destined for landfill, firewood, or the chipper-- a sustainable resource. These logs are first turned on the lathe then sculpted over a period of months. What may have begun as an eighty-pound chunk of tree is reduced to an object weighing less than two pounds by the time it goes to the pedestal.
Master of the Craft - Ron Layport: Metamorphosis
Produced by Jonathan Binzen for Fine Woodworking Magazine
Photography by Mark May
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Kamm Teapot Foundation, Encino CA
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Racine Art Museum, Racine,WI
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Wash., DC
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT