The ones that didn't make it #1 - "Palette"

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Project by Div posted 04-01-2011 09:59 PM 3149 views 1 time favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some of you might know that I have been working like a slave to build pieces for an upcoming exhibition called “Out of the wood”. I was fortunate enough to be asked to enter. Monday past I submitted 15 pieces to the gallery. Only 2 works were rejected by the curators, so I am happy.

“Palette” didn’t make it. It is a side table in Oak (because I had some off cuts!). The top of the round table is covered in old artist’s palettes, with glass over. The glass rests on four small legs that elevate it a little above the textured surface of the palettes. My wife is a professional artist/painter and I have been collecting her old palettes for some time, wanting to somehow incorporate them into furniture. The buildup of paint creates amazing texture and color.

Why was it rejected? Well, curators/art critics are particular and academically highly qualified in art and design. Not me! I didn’t get the opportunity to ask them but in hindsight, here is my take:
The four very straight legs don’t go with the round base and top. I think it would have looked better had I introduced some curve to the legs.
The complete top is covered with palettes and looks overdone. Maybe showing some wood would have been better, possibly a circle within a circle or just a single palette…

What is your opinion? Don’t think that you will hurt my feelings; this piece has already been before the most critical viewers!

Live and learn, I’m still just a woodworker. It is a miracle that anything has been accepted at all!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

40 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4200 days

#1 posted 04-01-2011 10:10 PM

Div, I would be proud to have come up with such a design as this. The textures and shapes of the artists palette components contrast well with the more formal and rigid structure of the Oak support. I think, at the end of the day its down to taste. You have it, they don’t.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 5077 days

#2 posted 04-01-2011 10:23 PM

I love the palette top and overall, I think it’s a great idea and a great piece.
Perhaps as you mentioned, the shape of the legs detracts from the delicate top.
I would be proud if I was invited to show, let alone have 13/15 pieces accepted. Clearly you are doing something right!
Perhaps it’s just a difference of opinion, not one of skill, design or execution.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View kevinw's profile


199 posts in 4903 days

#3 posted 04-01-2011 10:26 PM

My take is that trained artists or not it is quite subjective. I work as a graphic designer, have an undergraduate degree in art and also do woodworking. I go to some shows and think the piece that gets best of show is one of the worst. A different set of judges and this might have been their top pick!

They may have just felt duty bound to reject a few pieces for general principles and this was one of their least favorite. Who knows? Nice piece I think.

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4532 days

#4 posted 04-01-2011 10:31 PM

I don’t see any problem with this piece, and when your “accepted” pieces have sold, this one will be in demand. I would like to see some of your other pieces that were submitted.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4497 days

#5 posted 04-01-2011 10:33 PM

Personally I like the design a lot. If you had curved the legs it would have been like a million others. I also like the original idea of incorporating the palett’s into the top design.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5249 days

#6 posted 04-01-2011 10:39 PM

Div, you say 13 were accepted. I think it may have been simply rejected in comparison to your other pieces. Did the Exhibit have a limit on how many it could accept over all? This piece looks wonderful presented here, alone. I have the feeling if you’d only submitted it with a few others, all would have been taken. You did Very well to have them reject only two! What was the other one?


View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4222 days

#7 posted 04-01-2011 10:55 PM

Personally, I think it is a pretty cool piece.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 4104 days

#8 posted 04-01-2011 11:00 PM

Martyn, thanks for your words, sir! Good thing taste varies; otherwise the world would be boring!
Steve, glad you like it. Difference of opinion makes the world go round.
Kevinw, Would like to think you are right, thanks!
Papadan, I’ll just try to sell this one somewhere else! I’ll post more once the exhibition has opened.
Stefang, thanks for supporting my straight leg choice!
Barbs, would like to think you are right! No limit I knew of but I always overdo things! The other woodworkers only submitted 4-5 pieces….I’ll post the other “reject” soon.
Doc, happy that you like it, thanks!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

1200 posts in 4251 days

#9 posted 04-01-2011 11:44 PM

Few years ago I had the same experience with The Twisted Dounut. The judge came to me to explain why he chose my entry second not first. He said, I quote, ” The dounut by itself worths a milion and should be first, but the stand brought it down. You should hung it with fishing line”
The longer you live the more you learn.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View jeepturner's profile


946 posts in 3956 days

#10 posted 04-02-2011 12:45 AM

Div, I really like the top. In the first picture with the light reflecting off of the glass at an oblique angle the palette colors almost appear to be a Hubble telescope deep space picture. kind of like looking back in time. Then in the second picture looking down on the palette one can get a real sense of the texture. The bottom support is nice but it doesn’t support as much interest as the top.
I do like it, and if it was my exhibition I would have kept it in, but what do I know, except what I like.

-- Mel,

View David LaBolle's profile

David LaBolle

216 posts in 3835 days

#11 posted 04-02-2011 03:34 AM

What’s not too like?
I love it. The palettes top is very cool. The masculine strength of the straight legs is a great balance to soft beauty of the top.

Maybe they limited themselves to just 13 of your works so the other artists wouldn’t get jealous and think you had somehow become the headlining artist….

Congratulations. Keep up the great work and posts here on Lumberjocks.

-- When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for

View rdlaurance's profile


381 posts in 4510 days

#12 posted 04-02-2011 09:11 AM

I like the design and execution of this piece, very much Div! It has a beautiful feeling of an avante garde styled ring (jewelry). If this is one of the rejected pieces, those accepted must be truly inspiring and something to behold… do you have pics of them?

As a sculptor, I learned decades ago, in regards to jurists/critics of the art world, rejection has no negative meaning! Often when curating an exhibition, jurists have their own agenda of representation that they are trying to make, and it really has no bearing on the quality, style or characteristics of any particular juried piece.

My first major learning experience in regards to this was at first an incredible slap in the face (my personal feeling), by a jurist (Asst. Director of the NY MOMA) for a regional exhibition in Oregon. My glass sculpture which I knew was very credit worthy was rejected from the show. Other local professional sculptors were also rejected with their works and the top honored work that was selected was done by a local high school student. And from the quality of the piece, it appeared as if it was done by a novice that was probably a high school student…LOL

I was incredibly dismayed over this rejection, as I had spent 6 months creating my piece and this was to be my first showing in my home state after finishing my Graduate Studies in New York. I was lifted to an incredible height of elation just 6 weeks later when I received a notice that this piece was selected to be one of 400 glass pieces in the world’s largest exhibition (Japan). My piece was one of those chosen from 1800 pieces from all over the world and I was one of the eight American glass workers represented. I was later contacted (during the exhibition) by one of the jurists, who happened to be the Director of the Museum of Glass in Ebeltoft, Denmark (world’s leading museum of contemporary glass) wishing it for their collection. Needless to say, it has a wonderful home and I learned a lot about the value of ‘rejection’..... LOL

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 3973 days

#13 posted 04-02-2011 10:02 AM

Div its looking very nice. The fact that the legs are made simple does they dont “stell” the picture from the plate as i see it. Maybe you are right that if it had been curved legs they had giving green lights.

Anyway i like it just as it :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View mafe's profile


13204 posts in 4253 days

#14 posted 04-02-2011 11:04 AM

Hi my dear brother,
First I will say congratulation for the many that passed, that is a great achivement, you should be really proud.
I am proud on your behalf.
I look so much forward to hear news from the exebition.

The table:
I will give you my raw and honest critic, just as I think when seeing it, and the words I would use a architectural judge, judging it as a unika furniture, not ‘just’ a furniture:

I love the idea of using these palettes for a piece of furniture, I love these and the layers of time that can be read in them, that is a brilliant idea, that I think you will have to hold on to.

But I feel that the palettes are being ‘over ruled’ by the furniture, and not displayed or a part of it.
The legs are simple on shaped piece of wood, standing on a narrow disc, not fully at rest since the disc are quite small and thin in the composition. The palettes rest on a thin base that is held by these legs that stops there under the plate. The glass plate are not held, it try to hang in the air over the palettes.

The setup makes it look like a jewel rest, but the palettes are in a way the upper side than the jewel… They are honest, simple and warm.

It’s like the furniture are three parts that never really meet. The cold glass, the warm palettes, and the simple ‘no nonsense’ furniture under.

It is all feelings here, and is fine furniture, I like it for its simplicity, but you made many other things where you touch the art sphere, and this I do not feel here.

Who knows perhaps it’s because you tried to mix two worlds, then they both became unexpressed.

I don’t have a bid on what you should have done, but I think you should not give up this idea; I love the thought of the combination.

And as always you have done a wonderful job on the making.

(Now I hope I’m not in trouble for my honesty).

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View PG_Zac's profile


371 posts in 4552 days

#15 posted 04-02-2011 04:51 PM

Only one word Div


-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

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