Outside the Woodshop

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Vinecroft Studios
Artist Projects by Fred Bivins on display at places other than Vinecroft

Heritage Theatre Group fundraiser donation
This Black Locust Natural Edge Bowl was donated to the Heritage Theatre Group for their 2005 Auction which was held on Sunday, August 28th at Spectrum Theatre.

St. Cecilia Auction - October 6th

“The Old Piano for Tea” is a tea table built from an old piano.

The entire piece, with the exception of screws, some glue, and several coats of finish, is built from parts salvaged from a small Wurlitzer grand piano. As a wood turner I had only one opportunity to demonstrate my lathe skills on this project. The table top was turned from the original piano top. In the process I relieved the edge to accept sections I cut from the mangled white keys. They were added to accent the dark wood of the rest of the piece. Because I wanted to use as much of the original piano as possible I also built the top to accept pieces of the black keys and the original name from the keyboard cover.

St. Cecilia provided the pieces of the Wurlitzer piano – as pieces. Initially it was hard to resist the urge to make something no longer recognizable as containing parts from the original. However, as a person interested in history and as an artist I appreciated the work and talent that went into the creation of this piano some eight decades in the past. I made the decision to salvage the best and use what I could from the rest to build a piece that would carry the artistry of the original on to future generations. Even in their injured state, the carved legs were the best of the lot. They were nicked and gouged and scratched and had splatters of paint on them. The patina, however, was beautiful and worth saving so after a laborious cleaning I spent several weeks slowly building a French polish on them. The attempt to fill the voids in the finish was quite, but not completely, successful. At some point I made the decision to include some of the wear and tear the piano had received into the charm of the new piece. That process won me over with the top as well. After unsuccessful attempts to build on the original finish I abandoned the process and resorted to a modern finish that would preserve earlier wear, but protect from further damage. Scratches and nicks became part of this piece through its use as a musical instrument. While it can no longer bring joy to the ear as the old pianoforte did, I trust “The Old Piano for Tea” can bring new owners much joy in its present form. Fred Bivins

This work and others that make up the 2005 ArtStrings Project at St. Cecilia Music Society are being auctioned as a fund raising event for that organization.
Click here to go to St. Cecilia's web site to view the art or enter a bid

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