Duncan crafts ‘statement’ wood art

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Jan Duncan’s wood art is known for making a statement.

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It can be a large bowl, it can be a sculpture, it doesn’t matter the size or the style, they all say “decorative”.

“It’s a showpiece,” Duncan said at the Station Arts Center in Tillsonburg on Sunday afternoon during day two of the Oxford Studio Tour. “A lot of them are just fun. My mission is to show people the diversity and beauty of wood.

“If you want something functional,” Duncan said, picking up one of the smaller wooden bowls, “you can use it as a fruit bowl.”

And while some larger sculptures might function as fruit bowls, “you’ll have to dig pretty deep to get your apple,” Duncan laughed.

Duncan exhibited dozens of his woodturning and woodcarving works of art at the station on April 30 and May 1 during the annual Oxford studio tour, including a ‘sea stack’ piece inspired by the 2018 film The Vanishing.

“A lot of bigger parts aren’t concentric—they don’t go on a lap,” Duncan explained.

Carving requires a chainsaw, mallet, chisels and grinders.

“The chippers are wonderful now, they have a lot of really good discs that you can put on them that remove a lot of wood in a short time. So they are fantastic.

Duncan uses a medium sized chainsaw (16 inch bar).

“It’s not like the three-foot bar that loggers would use,” she smiles.

Even with power tools, preparing wood carvings can be time consuming.

“That (maple) piece,” she said as she picked one up, “probably lasted 80 hours. That was because removing the bark was difficult—dreadful work. bark comes free in one big chunk and sometimes it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, and you want to keep what it really looks like under the bark…”

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Duncan said she was delighted with the participation on the tour.

“Yesterday was very busy, very nice, good weather. Today is slower. »

An artist from Ingersoll, Duncan enjoys exhibiting at the Station.

“The people are fantastic and it’s a beautiful place. The lighting, you have all the art on the walls, and I love that they take all the artists and blend us all together. It’s fantastic, absolutely fantastic. It is a magnificent showcase. »

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Duncan was building a workshop, which kept him busy.

“It was devastating for us because all the shows were stopped. You have three or four favorite shows a year that you go to and you can’t wait to see the vendors, to see the people, and it just stopped .