Scott Grove, an American artist, sculptor and woodworker, has just delivered an inspiring, week long wood veneering course to the 20 students at the Chippendale International School of Furniture.
“I was very impressed by how much the students achieve while they’re here and how ambitious they are with their pieces of furniture. It’s a wonderfully creative stew,” says Scott.
Scott Gove, who has his workshop in New York, is a third generation artist who specialises in wood veneers. He designs and creates furniture, sculpture, architectural reproductions, interiors, films, and other art using multiple media and many disciplines. Art furniture is his genre and his eclectic work is known for its layers of artistic expression, sophistication, elegance and ‘touch of whimsy’.
Scott has won the Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge Award on an unprecedented two occasions. He has also won a prestigious Napkin Sketch Award from the American Institute of Architects and a DuPont Award for Innovative Use of Material. Scott is the author of Advanced Veneering and Alternative Techniques, which highlights some of his innovative veneering practices.
Scott has taught veneering at three furniture schools in the United States, including Marc Adams School of Woodworking and Yestermorrow Design/Build School, but this is the first time he has taught in the UK.Scott was attracted to the Chippendale International School of Furniture by the School’s reputation, and wanted to check out what was happening in cabinet making across the pond.
Self-taught in veneering, he had to figure out the art for himself and has developed some alternative ‘advanced veneering techniques as a result of his different perspective. One of his unconventional methods is a wavy contoured approach to joining pieces of wood veneer, resulting in seamless, nearly invisible joints. This technique has only been taught to roughly 100 students round the world and ensures the focus is on the wood and its grain.
“I believe that as an artist you should have some personal expression in your work,” Scott says. “My work is all about discovering inner beauty. If you’re commissioning a piece, I’ll sit down with the client to understand what they believe in, to find out his or her passions. These themes are then woven into the final design so that the piece is very personal and means much more.”
Another alternative approach is his asymmetrical matching: typically veneer is book matched, much like pages of a book, where the leaves of veneer are matched and mirrored on a common seam. “This is how veneer has been seamed for ages,” Scott adds.
With his creative eye, Scott has developed a technique that allows craftsmen to be more expressive and create designs such as hearts, spirals and even faces that look like part of the natural wood grain.
His lastest innovatiion is a compound veneering technique where he can veneer over the body shape of a model to create striking wood veneer sculptures. These will be the centrepiece of an ambitious new artistic venture.
You can find out more at Scott Grove’s website. www.scottgrove.com