Once in a while we find one of a kind original art works that have a timeless marvel of design and beauty. While those opportunities are rare and far between the time is right to introduce the genuinely creative eye behind these visions of Norm Friar. His designs and solutions are changing centuries of the usual past wood-artisan stereotypes.
There have been few precedents for a wood artist to consistently create wide ranging works that make permanent impressions. Yet during our stay in Aspen we've found Friar’s impact of his works are a benchmark for a new version of an old art form. Every example of his work captured our gaze as a lifting presence in the halls. Daring, bold, and immensely laborious is at the surface as just underneath is the longing question of how it was made and what a frame of mind it must be to begin any one of them. While he's clearly putting everything in his efforts Friar's average annual of 10 pieces demonstrate few limits in the size, scope, type, materials, complexity and success of his projects.
From the chainsaw to the finish we saw lifetimes in these amazing concepts and extraordinary ways of completing them. What we’ve found with this Ozark artisan is an innovator with seriously creative, busy, and thriving endeavors that are clearly a unique new invention of style.
There's a challenge to every woodworker. Regardless of how well acclimated a section of wood is it will inevitably shift by shrinkage or warpage by a nearly imperceptible fraction due to the reaction of gaseous pores deep within wood structure to the seasonal variations of humidity, temperature, change in elevation, and location differences between the studio of origin and the collector's environmental surroundings. Much effort goes into the stabilizing and preparation of a piece so that the chances that the art may survive for multiple centuries are greatly increased.
From the salvage in the forest to the auction house in New York every effort takes months to create.