“Geolithic Carving” is a term I created (it is not in the dictionary) to convey the feeling of the action of water on rock over billions of years. “Geo-” is a prefix used to associate the rest of the word with the Earth (e.g., “geography” means the study of the earth). “Lithic” pertains to stone according to my dictionary. The idea was originally inspired by actual rock formations in rivers which I felt were the most beautiful expressions of feeling that I had seen in any art form. Now smooth and melodious, now overhanging and precarious, here cragged and menacing, there twisting and lyrical – the stories in rock were fashioned by nature over vast eons unimaginable in a human time frame.
Such geological artwork can be appreciated by anyone in our streams and rivers, but it can also inspire beautiful design in our homes and businesses. Instead of water I use carving tools to recreate the drama of nature. The design motifs are abstract, as they are in nature. Also, the motifs are infinitely variable, no two are alike, again taking the cue from Mother Earth. Practically speaking, Geolithic Carving can dramatize any flat surface in our homes or work environments, such as architectural walls or screens, cabinet fronts or tables tops. The use of the furniture need not be impaired by this carving. Indeed, it enhances it by giving us aesthetic pleasure every time we enjoy its faithful utility. It is a true blending of art and function.
Photograph by Daniel Kukla, from the 2017 Salon+Art Design. Used with the permission of Amy Lau.
Of course, blending art and function is not new. The idea and the practice have been with us for centuries throughout the world and its many cultures. Art Nouveau and its offshoots in Europe, the elaborate Rococo style and classical Chinese furniture with its intricate inlays, to mention only a few, have pioneered the notion that beauty and utility combined is a much richer experience than functionality, however excellent, can supply alone. But what is new about Geolithic carving is that it is modern, instead of classical, abstract instead of literal and by its very concept free to innovate and kick up its heels, rather than get locked into repetitive designs. The earth is our model. The sky’s the limit.
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