Sculpting wood with metal
Editors note: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Red Cliff Studio Tour. In the 10 days leading up to the Aug. 25 and 26 event, well profile each of the 10 artists participating in this years tour. Red Cliff resident Bob Will readily admits hes not real handy with a paintbrush. Will, who works for the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, sculpts in his spare time, but he doesnt use clay. Many of his contemporary pieces are made from metal, wood or combination of the two and are scattered inside and outside of his studio, across from his home on Water Street in Red Cliff.
Inside the workshop, everywhere you look theres something that catches your eye from the sculptures themselves to the decorations lining the workshops walls. Hanging next to a painting by Lin Janson-Will, Bobs wife, is a red bumper sticker that reads Ted Kennedys car has killed more people than my gun.Thats the most popular thing in the shop, Bob said. A lot of people get a kick out of that. Bobs sculptures are stacked in the corners of the crowded shop. Some have a thin layer of dust thats free, Bob jokes as he moves the sculptures around. One of his most recent pieces lies on a table at the front of the shop. Rectangular and square-shaped exotic hardwoods, like zebra wood and cocoa bola wood from Africa and purpleheart wood from Central and South America, are layered with pieces of aluminum, brass, copper and stainless steel. It turned out well, Bob said, nodding toward the piece. Im hoping I can get it adopted out.
Making the sculptures is the easy part the selling part is the pain, he said. The sculptures he thinks will surely sell seem to stick around and the pieces you dont think will sell, run out the door, he said. Though the contemporary-art market is decidedly smaller here than in a bigger city, Bob says there is a market. Visitors to the Red Cliff Studio Tour, which Bob has taken part in the past few years, usually like his work, he said, but it comes down to would you put this in your living room?For more information about the tour, visit http://www.redcliffstudiotour.com.