Woodworking and carpentry are ancient crafts, often passed down through family generations. In our modern cities full of plastic, machine-made everything, the value of slow, lovingly created furniture or decor seems to be all but lost. Thankfully a few master craftsmen still remain to clue us in on what we're missing. James McNabb an artist, designer, and graduate of the MFA program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is the creative genius behind The City Series, an exhibit that represents a woodworker's journey from the suburbs to the city. Made entirely of scrap wood, this work is an interpretation of what it means to make something out of nothing.
Like other miniature cityscapes we’ve featured in the past, The City Series depicts tiny skyscrapers made out of unusual materials. But that’s where the likeness to other exhibits ends. McNabb describes his artistic process as “sketching with a band saw.” Each element of the exhibit displays intricate building-like forms shaped from woods of different light and dark tones. McNabb says his initial intent was not to build skylines, but individual wooden pieces which resembled tools or other strangely familiar objects. After he built nearly 250 of them in a day he noticed that they began to resemble a miniature city, and from there The City Series was born.
One of the highlights of the collection is “City Sphere” a lathe turned wood sphere covered in abstracted urban architectural forms. “Each piece was cut to shape on a band saw, and attached one by one to the sphere with wooden dowels and glue,” writes McNabb on his blog. “I used a sharp chisel to taper the bottom of each building, so that viewers can see down to the core of the sphere, what I consider ‘street view’.” The epitome of the urban sprawl, this piece is meant to depict a planet consumed by the city, a concept that’s all too familiar in the real world.
Via This Is Colossal