Metal Inlay in Reclaimed Wood

Artist: Jesse Bird


Inspired by the precision of linear perspective, this panel explores the relationship between two highly versatile materials while forming an asymmetrical composition. The back panel is made from a reclaimed cedar plank, donated by Dr. Sheryl Boyle and is interrupted by the imposition of two untreated steel bars from the Metal Shop in the Architecture Building. The panel uses an abstract depiction of advancements in steel buildings and aeronautics placed strategically on a backdrop of natural untreated wood. It is a commentary on our mark on nature and the two materials that have supported the growth of civilizations for millennia. The work is an exploration of materiality that was guided by the properties, appearance, and textures of each material and how they interact with each other. The assembly attempts to create an accurate representation of the material’s true state without distortion. To achieve this, the material properties had to be carefully considered and coordinated seamlessly to create a balanced composition representative of the tile’s underlying narrative. The composition allows the viewer to pause and reflect on the material’s history and allows imagining the many variations of these materials that have been and will be developed in the future.