Robyn Horn | Pierced Geode #336
Robyn Horn

born 1951
Resides in Little Rock, Arkansas
Photograph by Matt Bradley

Biography            Statement            Ask the Artist
Robyn Horn was born in Fort Smith Arkansas, and went to Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Her work is featured in a number of collections, including those of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, and the Fine Art Museum of the South in Mobile, Alabama.

Horn has shown her work recently at the del Mano Gallery, in Los Angeles and at the Hunter Museum of Art in Chatanooga, Tennessee in a show called "Hand of a Craftsman, Eye of an Artist."


Statement

The turned wood sculptures I make resemble geodes which are hollow stones full of quartz crystals. The crystals create a sharp contrast to the rough stone exterior. I have used the same concept in my "Pierced Geode Series" concentrating primarily on using the contrast of the smooth polished wood against the angular gouge-shaped spears of the sliding dovetails, interruping the smooth cylindrical shapes made by the lathe. There must be a dramatic interaction between the dovetails and the Geode, made with equally contrasting form and color, piercing the Geode open.


Ask the Artist

Where do you get the ideas for your work?

I spend quite a lot of time studying sculpture and shapes in books about art as well as other sources. There are ideas for creative work everywhere you look if you are focusing on shapes.

Do you work alone on your craft, or with others?

I work alone.

Do you ever teach, or take on apprentices?

I have a part time apprentice who comes to work occasionally, but on his own work, not on mine.

What's the most exciting part of creating your works?

Working with the possibilities in a raw piece of material is my favorite part, trying to get the most that you can from inside the wood.

What's the most difficult part of creating your works?

For me, the technical part is more difficult than other parts. I would like to do some things in my work sometimes and it takes a while to figure out the process.

What sort of technology do you use in your work? Has the technology of your craft changed dramatically over the past 100 years?

Most of my work is turned on a lathe and then carved. In the last 20 years, the lathe has been used to create some of the most incredible art to date.

Do you have any advice for somebody just starting out?

Take a class, there are several schools that teach turning, Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, Tenessee has a great program. Go to a symposium of the American Association of Woodturners, they have a wealth of information for you.

Can you share a "secret of the trade" with us--something nobody else knows or that you found out only after years of experience? Put another way--what do you wish somebody had told you when you were just starting out that might have saved you hours of wasted effort?

Learn to use a gouge instead of scraping tools. Go to a symposium and learn how to use them. They work a lot easier and will help the quality of your cut.

What are we missing by experiencing your work through the Internet and not seeing/hearing/feeling/smelling/touching it in person?

Wood is a material that needs to be touched. It is warm and inviting and part of the overall "being" of the piece. It would help to be able to walk around the piece and would enable you to see the motion in the piece achieved by its orientation.


Dawn Kiilani Hoffmann Sidney R. Hutter