|Still Life, 2010 (studio)|
I discovered Dutch woodworking artist Ron van der Ende on Empty Kingdom. Soon after, I contacted him about featuring his work on CARPEntryDIEM. He was remarkably open about his passion and process. Following is a portion of our conversations.
Ron van der Ende: I started restricting myself to old wood as material for my sculptures in 1996 because it boasts a wealth of color and texture, it is readily available and inexpensive, and because it is inherently 'imperfect'. Sometimes it looks like it has been touched a million times. It feels good to make something of value from such a modest material.
|Axonometric Array, 2008 (studio)|
RvdE: I vividly remember having my 'eureka!' moment. It suddenly dropped into my head that I could work in this material almost flat to produce a large and light sculpture. I realized instantaneously that it could be done, that it would be possible to do cars and limitless other subjects. That I would not need any detailed technical drawings but just one photograph. And that the result would be unique and spectacular and sell like hot cakes.
|Fly Over, 2002 (studio)|
RvdE: It felt then (and it feels now) like I have stumbled upon a continent of possibilities that is mine alone to explore. And twelve years on, there is still so much opportunity to develop and grow.
|Shipsection, 2003 (artist in studio) & Bathyscaphe Trieste, 2010|
RvdE: Most of my material I find in the streets. I find it myself or my friends call to report a dumpster/skip with interesting materials.
JR: Have your material sources changed over the years?
RvdE: It has shifted a little bit to buying materials at specialized stores because not as many material is being thrown away as a couple of years ago. People are making their own fake Piet Hein Eek furniture with it. Sometimes I buy stuff from the internet, like in 2008 I bought a lot of two hundred and fifty antique doors. That makes a full truckload!
JR: Have you developed relationships by collecting scraps from practical woodworkers or other artists?
RvdE: Not really. The scraps have to be old you know.
JR: I know some old woodworkers here in Asheville. Maybe I will send you a few of their scraps.
|Plymouth Custom Suburban 1969, 2000; G.A.Z.21 Volga 1962, 2000; Capri, 2002|
RvdE: Mostly I'm dealing with sculptural qualities. I do not want aesthetics or style to be dominant in my work. And there is a conceptual side but not as 'words intended to justify the work', more as a strategy for possible associations. This becomes especially interesting when pieces are made in a deliberate combination. I used to work in themed series in the past. Series of cars for example, a set about polar exploration or space flight. But in recent years I've started trying on seemingly illogical combinations to great effect. In the end though, every single piece will have to be strong enough to survive in the world individually.
|DS II (Pallas), 2008 & Phoenix: Rise ! (Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am), 2011 (studio)|
|Still Life & On Re-entry (Burning Log), 2010|
RvdE: I have not had these pieces together in a show, unfortunately. Mostly my work sells on the first exhibition they are shown in, so not much opportunity to make combinations like that. It's a shame in this case. Both these pieces have a life and death angle that would have made for a nice combination.
JR: Do you have any details or construction shots from those two endeavors?
|On Re-Entry (Burning Log), 2010 (construction, details, studio)|
|Still Life, 2010 (details via Happy Famous Artists Collective)|
JR: You showed "Perishables" at the Armory in NYC in 2011 and, sadly, we missed it. Do you have any upcoming shows in the US?
RvdE: I'll have a solo show in the spring of 2013 with Ambach & Rice Gallery in Los Angeles.
|727, 2008 & KO Valkyrie, 2010|
JR: I would also like to include this video if you are happy with it:
RvdE: Sure. It's in Dutch though... I would translate but I'm terribly busy right now. At one point I tell the cameraman that I am sawing "a very tricky little piece of wood."
JR: Thank you very much for speaking with me and my community. It was a pleasure to get to know your work.RvdE: Of course. Let me know if you have any more questions.
Ron van der Ende
|Checkout 2 / Kassa 2, 2005|
(June's featured artist is North Carolina's own Bob Trotman. If you have questions for Bob, please leave them here,
in the comments)