Best Friends

Four Best Friends 1977 - Steven Kennard 2012
Four Best Friends 1977 – Steven Kennard 2012

Lily and Sharon walking their dogs together, Leiston, Suffolk, England, in the 70’s. Image links to my Black and White photography gallery.

This black and white photo, taken using film and developed in my darkroom was scanned and originally posted on Google+ in 2012. It has been rescued before the shut down, to be featured today on MeWe.

Nourishing Our Creativity

French Horn #2 - Steven Kennard 2011
French Horn #2 – Steven Kennard 2011

Creativity is fed and nourished by the things around us and our experiences. Some of those are visual, some are more visceral. For all of us our ability to create is fed by those things. Photography (making photographs) compels me to be observant of my surroundings and my environment in a broad sense and in a more focused sense in the details. I believe our brains have the capacity to record everything that we see and the subconscious memory of that is often visible in the things we subsequently create ourselves. This can be seen in forms, surface textures or colour, for example.

Composing images requires a careful balancing of elements – what is to be excluded, what included and how these elements are placed within the frame – to create the visual harmony along what, in photography is a two dimensional plane. Three dimensional works whether turned items, sculpture or even furniture all need to have the same consideration applied to achieve successful results. For me, the creating of images and the creating of three dimensional works are interrelated and connected and often this relationship can be seen in my work. Sometimes this connection is clear, at other times more subtle.

We need to keep feeding our brains and imaginations using the elements that are available to us wherever we might be.

Original Post November 21, 2011:

Symphony Nova Scotia had an annual fundraiser and asked Nova Scotia artists to create something using some of their old and unusable musical instruments. I got this wonderful French horn (which I still managed to play as you can see if you look closely at the photograph below) and made a series of photographs of it.

Imagine the music this instrument provided for so many people for years and the pleasure that it gave to those who played it.

French Horn #1 - Steven Kennard 2011
French Horn #1 – Steven Kennard 2011

Bubbles of Ice

Bubbles of Ice - Steven Kennard 2012
Bubbles of Ice – Steven Kennard 2012

Sometimes looking down gives as much inspiration for design as anything you see around you. This frozen puddle with its bubbles is one example and I might well use it to inspire surface decoration in some of my future turnings. Clicking on the image takes you to my Macro and Ice gallery with other interesting mostly macro ice photos.

Friston with Barbu d’Anvers

Friston - Hafflinger colt with Barbu d'Anvers 1995 - Steven Kennard -
Friston – Hafflinger colt with Barbu d’Anvers 1995 – Steven Kennard –

This is a photograph of Friston, our young Hafflinger colt in 1995, surrounded by our bantams. I originally posted this image with the post below on Google+ and have today brought them over to my website to share from here. 

Original posting: Oct 5, 2011

Friston – one of our Haflinger horses in a setting as idyllic as it looks – Dordogne, France

Friston was the first colt we bred when we lived in France. Haflinger horses originated in Austria and are always chestnut in colour with white manes and tails. they are strong and sturdy, even tempered, willing and courageous.

The bantams you see around him are an ancient breed “Barbu d’Anvers” (Belgian Bearded bantams from Antwerp), full of personality and a pleasure to see. We started with a trio (two hens and a cock) and all three of them shared the brooding of their nests and the rearing of their young together, as tight a family unit as you would ever hope to see.

René Delin, a noted animal painter had in his possession a pamphlet edited in Paris in 1617, which depicted a bearded chicken from the Pays-Bas. 

Celebration of Tradition

Celebration 3 - African Blackwood, Cocobolo- Steven Kennard 2015

    Celebration 3 – African Blackwood, Cocobolo- Steven Kennard

I was honoured to be invited to submit a piece this year for the Professional Outreach Program
(POP) of the American Association of Woodturners “Out of the Woods: Traditional Form Revisited” auction which took place in conjunction with the 2018 AAW A on Portland, Oregon.

This Celebration box is the third in a series of boxes of mine showcasing the rich beauty of the different woods they incorporate – African Blackwood, cocobolo, thuya root burl. Clicking on the picture will take to to my gallery of more of my turned boxes and other work.

Celebration 3 open showing tray - African Blackwood, Cocoboloo - Steven Kennard
Celebration 3 open showing tray – African Blackwood, Cocoboloo – Steven Kennard

Celebration 3 open - African Blackwood, Cocobolo - Steven Kennard
Celebration 3 open – African Blackwood, Cocobolo – Steven Kennard

Salt, Pepper and Spice Mills – Rescued From the Flames!

Pepper Mills by Steven Kennard 2018
Pepper Mills by Steven Kennard 2018

Those who know my work will see that I have begun producing something quite different from my boxes. The story of how this happened is an interesting one.

I have firewood delivered to me every year, and every year while stacking these pieces, I discovered wood that was far too beautiful to end up heating my home. Every year I rescued some of these, putting them aside to dry in my workshop, saving them for… I wasn’t sure what! They were local maple, with lovely figuring, I just couldn’t stand the idea of burning them. So the piles of rescued wood in my workshop grew and grew and grew until this year I couldn’t move around for the stacks of them. I knew the time had come to give them a purpose. And so here they are! I present you with my latest project, the first collection of (for the most part) “Rescue” grinders, for pepper, salt or spices. They are made mostly from the maple from my firewood, with the exception of the few I have made in walnut and cherry. All are lovingly hand turned, polished and finished, each is unique and every mill features a ceramic Crushgrind® mechanism which is guaranteed for 25 years and is a pleasure to use. The finished grinders, though made with material discovered in firewood piles are in no way inferior to those made with commercially available wood. In fact they are superior, as this kind of beautifully figured wood is just about impossible to buy. I guess they are burning it all now. That is such a terrible waste. I wish I could go through all the firewood piles to see what treasures there are to be found. In the “Rescue” mills in particular I see the creation of a useful, beautiful object that will give pleasure for many years to come and I find that intensely satisfying in itself.

You can read more about these on the new Shop page on my site (see the menu above) – (linked here) which I am excited today to announce is open, linking to an Etsy purchase shop.

Stuart McLean – In Memoriam

I just heard the sad news of the death of Stuart McLean. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his crew and photographing his show in 2009 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. The video I made of the photographs is accompanied by one of his best loved stories, as told by Stuart himself. It’s a very funny story and typical of Stuart’s wonderful story telling talent. He was a Canadian literary treasure who will be sorely missed.

Getting ready to demonstrate at the New Zealand Woodturning symposium

It’s always exciting to go to a Woodturning Symposium as a demonstrator, with the buzz that builds up around the trip. I like to take some work with me, something new if I can, so you see me here sanding the body of a new box before attaching the finial. I leave for New Zealand on the 25th of this month. Not long now before I go. If you are there, stop by to see it and say hello.

Steven sanding a new box to take to New Zealand- Ellie Kennard 2016
Steven sanding a new box to take to New Zealand for the Symposium- Ellie Kennard 2016

While Ellie was taking the above photograph I moved aside and she spotted my latest student watching sanding techniques from an unusual angle, under the lathe. Joni has recently become obsessed with woodturning, as do so many once they are introduced to it.

My most attentive student - Photo by Ellie Kennard 2016
My most attentive student – Photo by Ellie Kennard 2016