I felt today would be a good time to visit the work of James Blain Blunk or J.B Blunk as he was affectionately known whilst alive, as I’m keen to keep a little craftsmanship flowing through our format. I was casually taking a read through his dedicated webpage this morning and I was lucky enough to stumble across these great film photography shots of Mr Blunk creating.
For those of you who haven’t come across this Artisan before, James was recognised for his ability with the chainsaw, primarily noted for his wooden creations as well as his ceramic work having studied under a master of this art over in Japan. In fact James is recorded by many as the first American apprentice to learn under the countries great ceramic tradition, originally with Japanese potter Kitaoji Rosanjin and later with living national treasure Toyo Kaneshige.
The photos we have here today are based around the creation of a sculpture for a private garden in Inverness, California, which must have been a really beautiful feature point of the garden. I love the fact that James has taken something so raw and rugged and has transformed it completely into this smooth easy on the eye shape, it’s especially impressive given the majority of this has been crafted with hand tools.
Wood however was not a limitation for James, as he turned his hand to many other materials and facets of design. Over his career he was known to carve stone, cast bronze, create jewellery and from time to time turn his hand to weaving also. He seemed to take great influence from his time in northeast Asia in that he knew little distinction between art and craft, an idea that is often found at home in Japan.
James Blain Blunk seems like a really open minded creative which in my opinion is clearly the best kind. He drew outside influence to form his own perception of creating which is why we shouldn’t forget him and the wonderful works he created. If you’ve enjoyed these images and would like to learn a little more I would suggest heading over to his webpage, as we’ve only scratched the surface here.