Tom Baxter

Nature’s materials are provided to us courtesy of stardust and time.

When we stand under a living Huon Pine thousands of years older than Christianity we are caused to pay homage. To look into a piece of amber and notice the entombed insects who have been there for  150 million years, we might pause again. The human mind seems incapable of comprehending materials on that time scale. A small piece of ivory from a 100 year old piano keyboard, that once belonged to an elephant on the savannah. Cell by cell these materials come into existence. Each cell correctly placed. A work of time, of evolution and biology. The calcium that exists in bones may once have belonged to a dinosaur.

Is not the wing bone of a dead eagle a wondrous object, worth preserving and remembering?

When I put these materials together, usually in a whimsical way, I am attempting a crude sort of alchemy. By gluing, shaping and polishing I’m trying to best display the integrity of the materials. After all, these materials seem to be unique to our world in this universe.
These small sculpted objects need to be held to be properly appreciated. The end form of these objects is determined by the materials being used. The material shapes and informs the object at every turn. The material itself offers clues and guidance at every step. It feels as if these objects could exist beyond our ability to successfully inhabit this planet.