Since 1980, internationally recognized woodcut print maker and artist Andrea Rich has traveled the world observing wildlife in their natural habitat. Madagascar, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Africa and Europe are some of the places outside North America that she has visited in search of interesting subjects.
While predominantly recognized for her woodcuts, it is Andrea’s sculptures that really caught our eyes. The animated yet true to life posturing of her art pieces are spot-on and endlessly engaging.
“…(S)ometimes the most striking feature is the form or posture of the animal,” Andrea explains on her website, “When the form captures my eye, I find it most pleasurable to let go the consideration of color or composition and the animal’s relation to the surrounding, and simply concentrate on the form alone. Sculpture seems an excellent medium for this new interest of mine.”
After months of searching, you acquire an art piece that is begging to be put up on a pedestal. You heed that call and start searching through your pedestal options. As you shop around you find that while you prefer the rich color and texture of wood, a black or white laminate pedestal of the same dimensions will save you about 20%. A tempting savings indeed!
So, just how well do laminate pedestals stack up against their wooden counterparts? Here are a few facts:
The longevity and appearance of any pedestal depends on what it’s made from, how it’s used and how well it’s cared for. On scratch, stain, fade, moisture and impact resistance, laminate surfaces rate better then wood. However, if wood is coated in a high quality lacquer, it will be able to resist stains and moisture quite well.
When wood veneer pedestals are properly cared for, they can last as long as your art piece. While laminate surfaces may be more scratch resistant than wood, the edges are prone to chipping, and heavy or jagged art pieces can leave unappealing scars. In order to enjoy a long life, laminate pedestals needs to remain in a permanent location, with as little moving or transporting as possible.
Without a doubt, real wood veneer is more rich, warm and appealing than laminate. While wood can be finished to any color, it is a natural product and the grain and color will vary slightly from pedestal to pedestal. If wood is exposed to direct sunlight for a length of time, the color can change. Typically, darker woods will lighten when exposed to direct sunlight, when some lighter woods will darken slightly.
The standard laminate pedestal finishes are black and white. While those colors do provide a clean backdrop, they do not add any life or depth to a display. In recent years a few laminate patterns designs have emerged that provide an appealing stone look, but they are a far cry from the real thing. When it comes to exposure to direct sunlight, laminate surfaces do a great job at resisting the sun’s effects.
Maintenance and Care
Laminate may be slightly easier to maintain than wood, but it is harder to repair. If scratched, dinged or marred, wood veneer pedestals can be refinished. Laminate surfaces cannot. Cleaning of pedestals, whether wood or laminate, should be done with a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Cleaning with water alone can cause wood finishes to become dull, and will usually leave streaks on laminate surfaces.
While both wood and laminate finishes have their pros and cons, the most important factor in your decision should always be personal preference. Ask yourself the simple question:
“Do I want my pedestal to blend in or proudly display?”
Pedestals finished in black or white laminate are best at blending into the surroundings. If you would like your pedestal to simply lift up and display your art piece without getting in the way, then a laminate finish would be your best bet. If you are looking to accentuate your art piece, and would see the pedestal as a worthy addition to the furniture in your room, a rich wood veneer is the way to go.
Eric Cahan’s fine art photographs and sculptures inspired by color, nature, and memory are consistently shown in galleries in and around his native New York. A devotee of contemporary art, Cahan’s influences include Mark Rothko, James Turrell, and the Light and Space movement, a brand of minimalism that originated in Southern California in the 1960s and focused on perceptual phenomena such as light, space, volume and scale. When he visited Turrell’s Roden Crater Project, Cahan felt an intense connection to the visionary masterpiece. As Turrell stated, Cahan believes that “light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.”
The photographs in the ongoing Sky Series are initially captured as sunrises or sunsets. Cahan uses as many as four different cameras ranging from 6 x 7 film to digital. Employing dozens of graduated filters traditionally used by filmmakers, his objective is to create a window into a time and a place, and to demonstrate how memories and colors shift and become abstract. Cahan produces chromium prints of each image numerous times until the result is seamless, free of banding or blemish. Beyond technical description, the picture evokes the presence of, and the artist’s reverence for, nature at its most sublime.
Made from the same surface material as surfboards and sailboards, Cahan’s polyester resin sculptures are three-dimensional interpretations of his photographs, similarly meant to capture light and conjure the sensation of looking into the sky or the ocean. “My work is meant to capture a moment in nature, asking and empowering the viewer to be fully present, involved, and uplifted. I want the viewer to be drawn in, and be completely absorbed by, rather than separate from, that fleeting moment in time.”
We are indeed grateful that Eric selected Pedestal Source to build custom fixtures for displaying his fine art pieces, and look forward to watching the expression of his creativity for years to come.
Aside from his hours spent leading the team here at Pedestal Source, our company founder Greg Glebe tends to lead an active lifestyle. His post-workday energy is typically invested into projects that allow him to express his hands-on creativity. Examples include designing and flying paraplanes in the Arizona desert, building a massive climbing tower in front of our old shop and teaching the old shop dog how bowl. Info on these projects will appear in future posts.
In this post, we wanted to focus on one of Greg’s latest projects: Engineering a one-of-a-kind, fully-automated, underground space saving trash receptacle for an high-end apartment complex he built here in Fort Collins, CO. Inspired design? We think so. Take a look…
One of the most fascinating aspects about experiencing a sculpture is how many ways there are to do it. The setting, lighting and point of view can all have a dramatic effect.
The process and decisions involved in lighting sculpture can go in a number of directions depending on a handful of factors. Here are the top 3 things the team here at Pedestal Source ask our customers to contemplate when lighting a sculpture:
What your sculpture is constructed from has the greatest influence on the approach you take with lighting. From a illumination standpoint, all mediums fall into one of three basic categories: clear, semi-opaque and opaque.
Clear: Glass, acrylic, crystal, etc. Sculptures made from a clear medium have the most options when it comes to lighting. These range from spotlighting, ambient lighting, overhead lighting and back lighting.
Semi-Opaque: Lightly colored, milky or frosted glass, acrylic, crystal and so on. Lighting requirements for sculptures in this category vary dramatically. Spot lights are generally not able to penetrate deep enough to have an effect on most semi-opaque pieces, leaving ambient lighting, overhead lighting and back lighting as the remaining options.
Quick Tip:If you are unsure of your art piece’s level of opacity, we recommend grabbing a high powered flashlight and holding it directly under the base. More opaque pieces will only allow the light to pass an inch or two from the bottom, and ambient lighting would not be recommended.
Opaque: Examples range from densely colored glass, acrylic and crystal to bronze or stone. With opaque sculptures, lighting is typically limited to its ability to amplify levels of contrast via cast shadows. Options include ambient lighting and overhead lighting.
While smaller scale art pieces can be adequately lit by a light source embedded within a pedestal, larger scale pieces may require an external source to get the job done right. Here are some general rules when it comes to lighting large scale pieces:
If your sculpture is…
…large and opaque, a directional light emanating from a ceiling mounted light source is usually the best choice.
…large and clear or semi-opaque, a combination of ambient light, back light and/or an overhead light would be ideal.
…large and broader at the top than the bottom, ambient lighting typically works best and overhead lighting would be out.
…large and broader at the bottom than the top, overhead lighting typically works best and ambient lighting would be out.
3. Warm or cold?
No, this is not in reference to your personality or your sleeping temperature. It is about the desired mood of your art piece. Standard lighting elements are typically one of two flavors: yellow (warm light) and blue (cool light).
For most sculptures, selecting a light color is entirely personal preference. The questions you should ask yourself are:
When I first laid eyes on this art piece, how did it strike me from an emotional standpoint?
Was that emotion more on the calm and soothing side or the intense and dramatic?
Now that it is in my home/office, is that still the mood would I like it to convey?
While there are many predefined rules for lighting a sculpture, there is plenty of room for creative expression. Lighting is a medium just like anything else. We recommend you take the time to experiment and see what lighting method best captures the spirit and mood of your art piece.
Few artisans have mastered the complexities and intricacies of kinetic art as David C. Roy. His sculptures are comprised of delicate, precise wood forms put into motion by the constant force of a wound spring. After a simple winding, they entertain with motion and soft sounds for hours.
His website “Wood that Works” showcases his portfolio, his blog and is loaded with embedded YouTube videos showing his kinetic sculptures in action. If you have a few minutes to blow, we would highly recommend you check it out!
Passionate? Sure. Energetic? Most definitely. A little quirky? A few of us may fall into that category.
While all may be correct descriptions of the team here at Pedestal Source, our most accurate moniker is “service oriented”.
Every member of the Pedestal Source team is here because he or she is dedicated to his or her role in providing our customers the best possible quality and customer service possible. Whether it be the guys in the shop investing their sweat equity into the build, the design team staying around long after the workday is over to complete a custom project or the countless hours the office and sales team spend working with customers to determine the ideal solution for their needs — there is nothing more important to us than those we serve.
Making you look good – that is out motto. We build the displays that get you noticed, and we couldn’t be more proud.