Artist, designer and craftsman Ted Lott creates beautiful miniature timber frame structures with Eastern White Pine, using found vintage furniture and other objects as unexpected structural bases.
In a 2012 – 2016 series called “Habitation,” Lott built elaborate miniature timber frame houses around antiques like stools, piano benches and rocking chairs, leaving the frames open so viewers can peer inside and take in all of the details. More recently, his sculptures made of Eastern White Pine have taken on cylindrical shapes to function as lamp shades; some spring up between the halves of old suitcases.
A graduate of the Maine College of Art with a BFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design and recipient of an MFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison, Lott draws inspiration from the traditional skills and techniques that are at risk of being lost to industrial methods of construction and fabrication. His work revolves around “the history of wood in material culture and architecture,” he explains in his artist statement.
“Along with clothing, food and water, shelter is one of the basic requirements for the sustenance of human life. During most of our history shelters were made of local materials; timber, stone, hide, grass and mud provided protection from the elements. However, with the coming of the industrial revolution, locally sourced materials gave way to industrially produced ones, 2×4’s and nails replaced timbers and elaborate joinery.”
“Today, in America and all over the world, balloon frame construction is a primary means by which shelter is created from wood. While connoisseurs of woodworking have long lauded the skill, precision, and exacting craftsmanship required to create a post and beam structure, the majority of our homes, commercial buildings and other structures are made using the balloon frame method.”