Wendell Castle (USA)

 

Artist’s statement

Scanning and 3D modeling and robotic carving and 3D printing—those are perfect things for what I’m doing ... I still think and believe very strongly in this, that the idea of these things ought to be done on pencil and paper, not on the computer ... So, that part hasn’t changed a bit. I draw just as much as I ever did ...

Now, I go from the sketches and idea of things directly to a scale model, which really gives you a whole other kind of way of evaluating what you’re doing, which I didn’t have in the ’60s. I could’ve made models in the ’60s, but they wouldn’t have been helpful in making the piece. They might have been helpful in making artistic judgments, but there wouldn’t have been any benefit in the making. Now they’re a great benefit in the making because we scan them. And then, with the scan, we can slice it and have absolutely accurate cross-sections and not guess anymore. They’re right on the money. And then, we can take that a few steps farther and create a tool path and carve them on the Robot [the machine fondly nicknamed by the Castle studio team].

—Ronald T. Labaco, Wendell Castle Remastered

PHOTO: ADRIEN MILLOT

PHOTO: ADRIEN MILLOT

Artist’s bio

Father of the art furniture movement, Wendell Castle has been a sculptor, designer, and educator for more than four decades. His work has led to the development of handcrafted, modern designer furniture as a major art form, and his name is highly respected in the field. 

His bold and graceful pieces, often organic and sometimes whimsical, are crafted from rare and beautiful hardwoods, plastics, veneers, and metals in a timeless, contemporary style. His expression of color and exotic materials are synonymous with the Wendell Castle name. 

Born in 1932 and educated in Kansas, Castle moved to Rochester, New York, in 1961 and taught at the School for American Crafts. He is currently artist in residence at the school and maintains his studio in nearby Scottsville. Internationally lauded for his contributions to the American art and design field, his numerous awards and honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Design, Brooklyn Museum of Art / Modernism, 2007; and Master of the Medium, James Renwick Alliance of the National Museum of American Art, 1999.