The Island Gallery


The Island Gallery
100-106 Madison Avenue N,
Bainbridge Island, WA. 98110
Tel. 206-780-9500,
Contact Susan Swannack-Nunn, Owner

September 19, 2008. For immediate release.

Fine Wood Furniture and Sculpture
Three New Works by Three Local Artists

Location: The Island Gallery, 100-106 Madison Avenue N., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Artists: Cecil Ross, Robert Spangler, Howard Todd
Artists’ Reception: Friday, October 3, 2008, 6-8 PM
Show Run: October 3 – 31, 2008

Artists: Cecil Ross, Bainbridge Island: A lifelong dedication to designing and building “things” as diverse as cruising and racing sailboats, homes and fine interiors, to art and sculpture has culminated in a home and studio here on Bainbridge Island since 1990, producing one of a kind creations for homes, gardens, offices, and boats. Years living, traveling, and working in diverse cultures have allowed me to draw on this experience to create variations in design and construction. All pieces are handmade and of original design utilizing both traditional and innovative joinery methods. The high degree of finish begs the client to caress the piece and enjoy it to its fullest. Combining function and art is my challenge.

Highly figured woods with prominent natural features are central to my work. Much of the wood is local and from trees with history, including Black Locust, figured Maple, spalted Alder, Yew, and Walnut A background as a trained draftsman and boat builder / designer lends originality and professionalism in the designs that reflect this diversity.

I am concerned about the impact that we, consumers and artisans, have on our environment, and how, as a builder and designer, I can influence this. Trying to tread softly on this earth, I attempt to produce the highest quality product, while adhering to a green philosophy.

Robert Spangler, Bainbridge Island: Robert Spangler is a distinguished Northwest wood artist who has been designing one-of-a-kind furniture pieces for over three decades. His work has been featured in national as well as regional shows and publications. Robert creates furniture for every living environment, including dining sets, buffets, cabinets and bedroom suites; he uses a variety of American and exotic imported woods, including cherry, walnut, poplar, bubinga and mahogany. His unique style blends American and Asian aesthetics and is characterized by lines which are minimal and pure. Robert reveals the experiences and philosophy that form the basis for his work:

After receiving a degree from Iowa State University, School of Design in Landscape Architecture and working in an office as a Landscape Architect for two years, I found that the drafting board had lost its appeal and that working with my hands to shape wood was extremely gratifying. I pursued my new love by apprenticing with a third generation cabinetmaker for the next year. That was in 1973. Since then my work has been included in National shows, public art projects, various publications, competitions and private collections. On large scale projects, I have collaborated with other artists and design committees. My work is influenced by studying classical American furniture styles, their construction techniques and carving methods, and a continuing interest in Asian furniture. My style combines these elements with a strong design background and my own unique, life experiences.

I feel that the objects that make up our environment have a profound effect upon our soul. These objects deserve recognition and honor. Their roles should be evocative, and also provocative. They should allow us to relax with them and yet challenge us to more lofty ideas. I think a successful piece of furniture is more than a piece of furniture.

Howard Todd, Kingston: Born in Chicago in 1951, Howard attended the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, receiving a BA in anthropology with minors in photography and music. Professional experience includes self-employed software developer, technical consultant, marketing writer, and Microsoft manager. His style recalls Nakashima in live-edge tables; contemporary desk and dining sets in local and exotic woods, as well as his magnificent turned bowls, reflect the broad range of his work.

I am a self-taught woodworker. I have been fascinated by woodworking for most of my life, and have been seriously pursuing it since 1998. My passion for woodworking starts with a love of wood, particularly the endless variety in color and figure. I begin by selecting exceptional wood and then incorporate it in a design that will reveal and enhance its qualities. I am drawn to the challenges of working in wood, and the satisfaction in fine joinery. I strive to bring a level of craftsmanship to my wood equal to its promise. To transform it into a piece which can be used and treasured for years, I approach all of my joinery, machining, and shaping techniques with care and precision. In many cases, I have developed my own patterns and jigs to deal with compound angles, curves, or other technical challenges. My designs are straightforward, and unify style with structural and functional considerations. The goal is distinctive work with impeccable fit and finish that will endure.