Ver. 8/25/2018
Three Heron Orca Gooose Swan
Eagle Osprey
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View sculptures currently available


 
  Member of Collective Visions Gallery
     331 Pacific Avenue - Bremerton
 
 
Contact Howard Julien via Email
call or text 360 471 4936
 
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Howard

 
See Howard's Creations at Upcoming Events
Bainbridge Island Studio Tour - Nov 30, Dec 1 and 2
Hidden Cove Pottery - 7176 NE Hidden Cove Rd - Bainbridge Island

 
Steam-bent wooden sculptures are made using a special process that I have developed. It is similar to wooden boat building only with smaller objects. Sculptures are built from Oak or Walnut wood strips that are steam bent and then laminated and finished. The majority of my pieces are free-standing Great Blue Herons approximately 24 inches high. I also build larger herons, ducks , eagles and orcas. I have two-dimensional versions that can be framed and mounted on the wall like a painting.

Each piece is unique. Although they are created in the same molds, the individual wood strips which are laminated into animal shapes have different characteristics (eg. different species, grain patterns and colorations) and I sometimes vary the wood direction. Because of this each wood strips bend differently, and retain their shape differently. To a large extent, the wood decides what the final piece will look like.

When I retired in 2015 from years as a computer server engineer, I wanted to do something creative and build something unusual. Steam-bent wooden sculptures is the medium that I selected. I had been doing wood-working in my spare time for many years on many different, typical projects…nothing unusual. I saw a bent-wood sculpture in a gallery in eastern Canada about 10 years ago. I was impressed with the elegance and simplicity and upon examination determined that this was something that I could do. Since there were no instructions and I had seen nothing similar, I developed this process through trial and error and became able to create several types of sculptures.

 
The Steam Bending Process
Steambox

The first step is to steam heat strips of wood until they can be easily bent. This steam box can heat hardwood strips 38”long to above 200 degrees.
Bending

The heated strips are wound through a bending jig. Pictured above is a heron bending jig.
Glueing

The bent strips are then laminated together using a special glue, clamps and presses. Pictured below is a heron in the gluing frame.
Glued Heron

Pictured above is a raw heron after gluing but before finishing.