By Beth Lawrence
Gallery 1 will soon host the creations of two artists who work in mediums on widely different ends of the spectrum.
The art of woodworker Warren Carpenter and photographer Tia Corbin will launch with a reception from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9 and remain in the gallery through September.
The pair came into their chosen craft by different means but have an equal passion for their art.
Carpenter is from Seneca, South Carolina and began working with wood as a homebuilder in the 1970s. During that time, he began to dabble in woodcraft, trying his hand at sculpture. In the 1990s, he saw something that took his interest in woodworking in a different direction.
“About 20 years ago I saw a person turning wood down in Georgia, turning bowls,” he said. “After I saw that, I said to my wife, ‘Well I know what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.’ She thought I was crazy.”
Turning wood means attaching a piece of wood to a lathe. The lathe rotates the wood while the craftsman uses chisel-like tools called gouges to carve a form out of the raw block.
Carpenter uses green, or uncured, wood to create his works because dried or cured wood is prone to cracks and other defects. He prefers to work with any piece of wood containing a burl. Burls are knotty growths found on trees. The knots in the wood are a result of unformed buds.
“They have wonderful grain patterns inside them,” Carpenter said. “There are few things better than finding a burl and figuring out the best way to turn it into one or more pieces of artwork.”
He finishes his wood in food-grade tung oil for protection and to enhance the look of the wood.
Corbin is from Sylva and was drawn to photography at a young age.
“My dad loved to take pictures of Bryson City,” she said. “I liked to look through his pictures, and they inspired me.”
She eventually took photography classes at Southwestern Community College where she studied advertising and graphic design.
There she learned how to use manual cameras and to develop photographs from film.
Corbin further enhances her skills by attending photography workshops, one of which was held at the Penland School of Crafts in Mitchell County.
She has used her limited time in dark rooms to experiment with developing pictures on different materials and use washes to change the color and tone. Corbin loves to photograph landscapes but has a fascination with a unique subject, especially in the mountains.
“I like to take pictures of old door knobs and abandoned doors,” Corbin said.
She hopes her work inspires others to share her love of Western North Carolina.
Corbin uses her graphic arts and photography skills in her job at Western Carolina University.
Gallery 1 supports artists from counties that “touch” Jackson County.
“We take art for granted. Look at the way our car is designed, our clothes are designed. An artist did every one of those things,” said Pamela Haddock of Gallery 1. “People for some reason think that it’s an easy thing to do without understanding the dedication and time that goes behind it.”
Haddock’s philosophy is when shoppers support local artists, it gives the artist funds and encouragement to continue to pursue their passion.
Gallery 1 is located at 604 W. Main St.