A big turnip for Thanksgiving
I’ve never been to Burning Man (my wife won’t allow it), but my good friend and FWW contributor Paul Schurch goes every year to build things and set them on fire in the Nevada desert. Here’s what the Burning Man Web site has to say: “Once a year, tens of thousands of participants gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, having left no trace whatsoever. Then they return home to embody the principles they learned year-round.”
This year Paul built an amazing turnip made from veneer laminations, which sat on a lazy susan and acted like one of those roof turbine vents to catch the wind and spin–with someone inside it! “Each wall is two layers of veneer glued
together,” Paul explained in a recent e-mail, “and the 16 pieces makes this the biggest-ass radial match I
have ever done.”
He also ran a jewelry-making studio at his camp, and did his usual staff-twirling demonstrations. Needless to say, Paul is a curious guy with many interests. Maybe that goes with the territory in Santa Barbara, where his shop is. It’s always a blast to visit him there, to hear his stories, spot celebrities at restaurants, and just see what Paul is up to. He builds exquisite furniture by the way, and has trained most of the top marquetry guys I know with the method he learned in Italy.
Anyway, Paul lit his turnip on fire at the end. That’s the deal at Burning Man. Create it, live in the moment, and then let it go.
At this moment, Schurch is using similar techniques to create clothing for a 2011 fashion show in Las Vegas, dedicated to garments made out of wood and wood products. “Many artists are on board, wood turners, veneer guys, woodworkers, MDF sculptors,” he said. “A whole new subject to explore, and maybe even see really cute girls too. Watch out, it could go mainstream..”
I’ll post updates on that.
The turnip is made of 16 separate veneer laminations.
Once a willing participant gets inside, the leaves can be drawn up to the top.
The turnip form emerges, and the person is locked inside for the moment. Paul Schurch is at the left, and this was shot outside his Santa Barbara shop.
Paul drove the turnip out to his camp at Burning Man.
He set it up in a dust storm, and it was a big hit during the weeklong encampment.
Burning one's creation is part of the fun. Then Paul headed back to California to resume his "normal" life as a furniture maker.
Now Schurch and his assistant are using similar techniques to make veneer clothing for a runway show in Las Vegas in 2011. Stay tuned for news about that.