Friday, 25 May 2012

Friday My Town: Made By Hand

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Two years ago I visited a museum in a small village near my town which displays the wooden sculptures of a local artist, Uno Axelsson.  He was 53 years old when he started making sculptures and about 80 when he died. He made about 250 wooden sculptures, big and small. He found his inspiration in nature, studying animals, and collecting oddly shaped pieces of wood.

He started with smaller things like bowls:

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But went on to also making big, life-size sculptures:

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All his sculptures were made in one piece.
The eyes are not glass but painted and lacquered.

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He never sold any sculptures. He gave some away but kept most of them in a private museum in his own barn.

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After his death, the collection was moved to a new museum built by the local folklore society. More photos from there can be seen here (my blog from 2010)

 

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In 2010, we had a stone sculptor working on this gigantic stone head in the town centre during a sculpture festival (going on all summer). The finished sculpture has been moved to another place. I think I have a photo of it finished as well, but I can’t find it now. The polished surface has the darker colour you can see in the top left photo, under the ear.

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See more things made by hand:
Friday My Town Shoot Out

16 comments:

  1. i love those bowls, he was so talented, all of his work is beautiful, but the bowls are what i would like to have one of. amazing made by hand.

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  2. I remember your Axelsonn posts. But these particular photos I don't remember, maybe they are ones you didn't post back then...I really love the woodpecker and don't remember it. Have you gone back to the museum, do they charge an admission fee? They are nice to let you snap!

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  3. The badger bowl is a true work of art, a very talented chap, good to see that his art is in a museum for all to enjoy.

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  4. I think it's wonderful that the collection stayed together and is there for all to enjoy. It would be a great introduction to sculpture for children. I like your mosaic of the head!

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    1. I think during the winter part of the year they mostly take groups, like school classes. In the summer they have more hours open to tourists dropping by. There's also a café. It's in a remote kind of place though and not somewhere a lot of people just happen to drive by without knowing about it in advance.

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  5. Wow, wow, wow! These are amazing. I'll have to look up your other post on this person. Would love to know why he didn't start until 50 yrs old. These are beautiful. Great post.

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    1. Good to see you, shabby girl. Uno had a farm and worked in the woods. If memory serves me right from what the guide said when we were there, he had done some drawing and painting before he started carving in wood (I think most of those got destroyed in a fire or something?) Anyway to begin with it was just a hobby and then he got more into it after he retired from running the farm.

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  6. wonderful find. I am always facinated when I see sculptures in wood where the grain of wood makes the sculpturee come alive.... wonderful post.

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  7. Lovely shots of the hands. Love that stone head too.

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  8. Those detail in the wood sculptures are amazing. So beautiful. Great find.

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  9. Interesting how he made sculptures out of one piece of wood. I like the one of the cow and calf, so cute! :)

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  10. I have always loved wood and I have come back to this post time and again over the last few days. Wonderful.

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  11. I also love the badger bowl and am glad to hear about the artist as well as see his work. The work in progress collage is also fascinating.

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