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above: Come together. Below: detail of Come together
Australian born sculptor and painter Ricky Swallow has many talents. Only one of which are his realistic wood carvings made with Jelutong, English Lime, Walnut and Pear wood.
Although he has wonderful bronze works and watercolors, too, it's his wood carvings that emulate canvas, rubber, animals and more I want to share with you. The appearance of these sculptures suggest they are made of materials other than wood.
The majority of the sculptures below are made of Jelutong*
Field Recording/Highland Park Hydra:
Everything is nothing:
Together is the new alone:
Younger than yesterday
Growing Pains (contingency for beginners):
You can read a review or Ricky's 2006 show in the NY Times here.
*What is Jelutong?
Jelutong (Dyera costulata) is a type of hardwood also known as jelutong bukit or jelutong paya. It grows in Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra and has the appearance of a straight grained wood with fine, even texture. Colors range from creamy-white sapwood and heartwood, maturing to a pale straw-yellow.
It is light, soft, brittle, and weak with good stability in service, low decay resistance, and works easily with both hand and power tools.
This type of wood planes to a nice, clean surface and glues, screws, and nails without difficulty. Stains, paints, and varnishes fairly well.
It is popular for model making, patterns, wooden shoes, battery separators, and drawing boards. Also used for interior joinery and corestock for doors. Excellent wood for carving and sculpture due to its softness. Latex in the wood is extracted for chewing gum.
above: Ricky Swallow, Field Recordings