Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections


2000 Brad Sells Born: Cookeville, Tennessee 1969 maple burl 12 1/4 × 25 1/2 × 16 1/8 in. (31.0 × 64.7 × 40.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Dr. Donald and Mrs. Sue M. Spicer 2001.54 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 54B

Luce Center Quote

"I diligently sought to refine the process of vessel carving when I began my career as an artist, and the result was this unique procedure, which I pioneered by relying heavily on personally modified tools, advice of colleagues and keen determination." The artist, quoted in The Herald Citizen, 2002

Luce Center Label

Brad Sells begins his sculptures by carving away large chunks of wood with a chainsaw. He spends the next few days using customized electric grinders and sanders to open up the form. Finally, Sells hand-sands the pieces and coats them with a mixture of polyurethane varnish and natural oils to produce a semigloss finish. Spirit is carved from a maple burl, which is an outgrowth from the trunk or branch of the tree. Sells highlighted the irregularities of the burl by retaining a jagged edge on his vessel.


decorative arts

Crafts - Wood

wood - maple