Woodworking by Frank Hitchens will be on display at the Maser Gallery at Falmouth Community Television from April 2 through May 5, 2017. The public is invited to attend the Opening Reception on Sunday, April 2, from 3:00-5:00pm.
Howard (Frank) Hitchens was born in Penzance, Cornwall and raised in the Bath area of England. Eighteen years ago, he immigrated to the United States, making Cape Cod his home. As a young man, he spent time in a cabinetmaker’s shop where he developed a love of trees and woodworking. About ten years ago as he was trying to rekindle his love of wood, an elderly acquaintance gave him a collection of woodcarving tools. Since then, Frank taught himself the art of woodcarving. His artistry has matured into an aesthetic which incorporates other natural elements, including stone, sea glass and metal, to name a few.
Working with a new piece of wood, Frank looks at the shape, grain, and color and lets the wood decide what should be carved. Driftwood naturally lends itself to this method, being partially sculpted by the elements. “I just finish the process nature started,” explains Frank. “Other blocks of wood need to be developed. For example, when starting with a milled block of wood, I first sketch my idea on paper to help me understand the shapes and curves of my conception and how it will be complimented by the natural grain and color of the wood.” After an idea is sketched, Frank cuts the general shape out of the wood and then the finer details and features are tooled by hand chisels, gouges, and spikes. Then, he decides how to finish the piece – whether it will be smooth or rough, dull or shiny, natural, stained or painted.
Frank has shown in several local galleries, but it’s his first show at Maser Gallery. This show’s theme is “Touching Nature,” reflecting the sculptor’s desire to be in and of the natural world. The carvings are a mixture of driftwood and milled blocks that have been sculpted to feature parts of the human form connecting with commonplace creatures and basic elements of nature.
Maser Gallery Exhibit Hours: Sun: 12-8 p.m.; Mon: 2-10 p.m.; Tue-Wed-Thu: 10-10 p.m.; Fri: 10-6 p.m. Sat: Closed