European Pear and Bubinga
59" x 42" x 12" 1996
The free standing screen Wagtails and Reeds is an interpretation of a traditional Japanese shoji screen. Shoji screens, usually made of wood with paper panels, are often used to visually divide a room and provide a sense of privacy. Wagtails and Reeds has wood panels made of European pear in place of paper.
The pear panels provide a large canvas for a carving technique called chip carving, which uses a short-bladed knife to engrave a design. Flowing reeds and grasses decorate both sides of the screen. A narrow space left between the panels and frame help create the sense of delicacy that is often associated with the traditional paper and wood screens.
Double mortise and tenon and exposed through-tenon joinery is used to join each of the bubinga frame pieces. The screen is finished with shellac and wax.