Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Full Metal Packet

BENNINGTON -- Fiddlehead at Four Corners, the old marble bank turned art gallery, features glass and ceramics and jewelry and wood and fiber and oil paintings and granite and soap from studio artists all over North America. Beautiful works. Exquisite works. 

Fun, funky and functional works.

But still, something was missing ...

... until yesterday when the box arrived from Iowa.

Wrapped inside of the big box were 5 pieces of sheet metal that Gail Chavenelle crafted into 3D masterpieces, such as the horse you see above jumping off the granite base.

Gail Chavenelle's love of art began long ago. Paper sculptures such as childhood paper dolls, chains, pop-out books and greeting cards "intrigued" the little girl. "I loved the form," she said, "but wanted the works to be more permanent."

That's where 20 gauge steel comes into play at her studio in Dubuque, located at 2 o'clock on the border of Wisconsin. Gail bends and folds and cuts and torches and snips flat sheets.

"I explore metal's kinetic movement so pieces can bounce, fly or dance in the breeze," Gail writes on her website. "I love the curl as strips of metal become wild hair. I am awed as a turn of a metal head creates an intimate moment between lovers or parent and child."

This is what she means ...

So yeah, Fiddlehead now has metal to go along with the glass, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, wood, oil, soap and chalk. Gail's pieces are available on Fiddlehead's website ( Here's a video of the Iowan in action. Fascinating process ...