Christopher Norman’s work is an exploration of form in natural materials. His work references familiar forms produced throughout history as domestic vessels, architectural shapes, and mathematical ideals. From within these vocabularies, he creates forms in scales and contexts that render a shift from the original.
Norman’s form-making is strictly subtractive, and due to the hidden qualities of the raw material, each piece is the result of an initial idea shifted by the discovery during the dance with the material. Norman’s primary tool is the lathe. A lathe is a tool that only creates axial-symmetry, and when symmetry intersects the wild properties of wood, a unique relationship between the plant and the machine emerges. The relationship between form, material, and process is at the heart of Norman’s work.
For Norman’s wood forms, he uses freshly cut trees rather than buying industrially conditioned material. After the piece leaves the studio, the finished work continues to shift as it conditions naturally. In the tradition of green-woodworking, the final shape and integrity come after the worked material achieves equilibrium with its environment.
Norman’s influences include; the exoticism of ancient Egyptian and Grecco-Roman forms; the super-human scale of the industrial landscape of his native Michigan; and monumental Minimalist sculpture