Growing up in rural Maine, I developed a true appreciation for nature and a determination to get things done. Through various occupations – machinist, builder, and landscaper – I trained my brain to become a seasoned problem solver. I find the process of making art sometimes to be a battle of wills and a letting go of ideas. The process always leaves me exhausted, but craving more. Mostly, I am grateful to arrive at this point in my life having the time to devote to my passion.
Switching media has been a recurrent theme. It seems just as I begin to refine one medium, I switch to another. Ten years ago, I gave up photography and started carving wood. I experimented with spalted wood, end grain, and turquoise inlay. Eventually, I turned to carving bone and antler, finding its luminous glow particularly appealing. Finally, I entered the mysterious world of metal. I played around with patinas and tapped my way into learning the ancient technique of Repoussé. And just as it appeared I would settle on becoming a silversmith, I made a series of metal doors and crossed through another threshold.
I began melting down my blunders, pieces of cutoffs, former visions and old ideas. I had no expectations, just a desire to have fun with them. I was engineering things with no meaning other than to add texture, shadow, and create portals that invited exploration. It was then I was compelled to return to sculpture. The journey had led me full circle, but now I was equipped with a new and diverse set of skills.
Recently I finished three wooden sculptures I started many years ago. It’s affirming to return to this medium now and see that I have indeed made progress on this self-taught journey. I really don’t know what is next, but I am eager to cross that threshold and find out.
Keith Plummer 2019