by Paul Sumner
Wood with Aluninum Tail Fins
Paul’s work has evolved over the years to become an expression of all his passions, not just his love of the medium of wood. He began more than 20 years ago as a traditional wood craftsman, making jewelry boxes and furniture. His interests branched out to explore the textural possibilities of weed, then to color, and on to the addition of other materials until his work became truly mixed-media.
Animals have become a dominant theme. Dogs not only have a wide diversity of forms, but he strives to give each a personality that fits its style and material. Fish are also a perfect canvas for his exploration of color, texture and pattern. Paul is drawn to realistic body shapes, but allows the surface decoration to follow his whimsy. Birds are another creature of interest, beginning with birdhouses for his feathered neighbors and evolving to freestanding sculptures. Paul enjoys creating insects because they give him the freedom to explore color and form in an unrestricted way.
Paul’s most recent work involves combining metal with wood. An avid antique tin collector, he has used a variety of animal and insect forms as a way to expand his palette to include old tins, which are outstanding for their color and pattern. The tins also allow him the opportunity to explore the possibility of introducing words in to the visual realm of art. He likes to hint at meaning or humor using text he extracts from his tins.