This Week:
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In eastern Oregon we often do things differently. Sometime the result is very hard to classify. Some of this is because it is common for people here to be largely self-educated. In some cases they may be quite well educated but their curriculum is not likely to follow any conventional pattern. The syllabus is formed by the interaction of personal proclivity and life's randomity instead of some socially decreed table of classifications. A notable local example is Nomad Sign Art. The pictures in this Gazette are all examples of his work. You can see that in each case they go beyond being signs into the realm of sculpture. And yet they are all very definitely signs. So where do they fit in the taxonomy of art and commerce, aesthetics and craftsmanship? One salient feature is that it is all hand lettering. These days, that is very rare. It is so much faster and easier (and cheaper) to just print it on vinyl or cut it out on a computer controlled device. Faster and easier it may be, but we lose something. Even the most elegant computer font lacks the fluidity of calligraphy and the poetry of being able to shape each letter to the exactly appropriate form every time. Nomad signs are always signs but there are always touches that take them beyond simply signage. Here for example the slab of stone that forms the body of the sign is fabricated to resemble the natural stone of the locale. Any ordinary commercial sign painter would have settled for a painted background if they bothered at all. Any ordinary sculptor would have disdained something so crass as the entry sign for an industrial park. And no one else would have put an equal amount of work into the back of the sign. One would expect that these letters cut out of diamond plate would have been flame cut or laser cut by a CNC machine. But if you look closely at these letters, you can see that each one has been hand formed. It is becoming rare to find truly hand crafted anything in this era when the machine generated items are almost the same quality and so much cheaper. But there is always a place for art. Maybe there is something you want to say to the world that requires that special touch. If you would like to hear what Nomad Signs has to say for themselves, it is here. If you would like to contact them about a project and the contact information on their slide show does not work for you, you can contact the Gazette and we will make the introductions. The Sign Sculptor: neither fish nor fowl.
Neither Fish nor Fowl
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