Paul Henry, wood worker par excellence, is showing a collection of his creations at the Encinitas Library through Oct. 8.
In his “Small Ideas” exhibit, Henry presents a collection of models, first attempts, teaching tools and more that, according to the artist, “illustrate the interplay between exploring an idea and engaging in a larger work.”
Henry explains, “Furniture is designed to satisfy human needs, desires, and pretensions. Its human scale supplies the furniture maker with ample opportunities to make very large mistakes.” He often constructs small-scale models that enable him to test his creative ideas while keeping the potential of large-scale errors to a minimum.
Henry states, “In the over 30 years that I have maintained a studio in North County, I have collected quite a number of small samples. Many of these find their way into larger pieces, or they solve a problem that allows that larger piece to proceed.” A veteran woodworking instructor for almost two decades, Henry also created many pieces as demonstrations of technique for his Palomar College classes.
Reluctant to discard his collection, Henry recalls, “I was encouraged by my friend Rasim Konyar to begin considering them as objects in their own right, and in fact many have an engaging ‘presence’ that may not carry into a full sized piece.” The suggestion has culminated in the “Small Ideas” exhibit in the foyer of the Encinitas Library.
With a level of skill and aesthetics honed during the past three decades, Paul Henry’s work is considered by many to be fine art. His superior craftsmanship and artistic sense of design have earned places in gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the country, including the Museum of Craft + Design in San Francisco and the former Sharada Gallery in New York City, in addition to local venues such as the former David Zapf and Trios galleries.
Henry is pleased that his newest creation, which incorporates antique mahogany panels and other furniture parts collected over many years, was selected as part of the current Allied Craftsmen Today show at The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The exhibit, which is on display through Jan. 5, 2014, features over 100 cutting-edge craft works created by current members of the Allied Craftsmen of San Diego.
The Mingei’s Director Rob Sidner says, “Allied Craftsmen Today recognizes and applauds this group’s quiet, continuous and extraordinarily rich contributions to the visual arts in San Diego. It is a pleasure to present to a wider public the ex