Updated: Apr 19, 2022
The use of fruit as a departure point for my sculpture and furniture came about from my childhood. We lived in rural Ohio and our property had several apple, pear, and cherry trees.
I was not fond of those trees. My responsibility was to maintain them; prune, pick, rake, dispose of broken branches, and rake again. I knew better than to complain because my mother would assign me another chore, usually washing windows. My one joy in the small orchard was throwing apples at my three sisters. It was worth the spankings.
I gravitated toward soft round shapes at art school and was inspired by the soft sculptures of Brancusi, Moore, Hepworth, Arp, and Noguchi. It was more than the shape; it was the concept of taking physically hard materials like marble, bronze, and wood and injecting them with softness and sensuality. This concept goes to the core of my work, from hardness to sensual softness.
The two-drawer Apple Rump Side Table per the above image was a work I made at college. It’s a solid, mature piece, and I would feel comfortable making it today with no changes except a minor tweak with the drawer fronts. It was a seminal piece, for it possessed the markings of future work.
It was the fifth year, 1980, of having a working studio when I built the first Apple Coffee Table for a collector and another one for a craft show. I didn’t give the tables further thought until I showed the Apple Coffee Table at the craft show. The response was an awakening. I added a pear and cherry table soon after. The Pear and Apple Tables became my best-selling work and are to this day. I will soon be adding another fruit to the series, but it won’t be ripe until spring of 2023.