As mentioned earlier, CBS Sunday Morning produced a feature about the “gibbonsy”
woodcarver wood sculptor David Esterly. The program aired Sunday June 2, 2019.
A fitting tribute, but far too short. Annoyingly superficial! Yes, the typical art feature on CBS Sunday Morning is usually only about 5 to 6 minutes, but for goodness sake this is about someone and something important to us. Give us more!
The feature actually covered the 4 major genres of Esterly’s carvings, but in a very superficial way; brief glimpses of only a single carving from each genre, too little information about how he came to adopt those genres and what they mean to him.
We can understand how the pursuit of being “gibbonsy,” as he describes it, led him to the floral and fruit genres that are distinctly his more than they are of Gibbons. But what inspiration led him to the trophy carvings, or to botanical heads, or to letter racks? Even a few more seconds on any of these would have made the feature far more interesting
By the way, there are articles about Esterly and several of his interests here (Financial Times), his interest in letter racks here (Antiques magazine – long), and the Thomas Jefferson letter rack here (Antiques magazine).
Other readily available videos featuring Esterly:
- Artists Do Not Stand on the Shoulders of Giants. (2:08) [focus: Gibbons]
- Type 2 creativity … a TED talk (20:06) [focus: florals, trophies, letter racks, thunderbolts, process, adventure]
- Woodcarving: A Master Class (3:23) [focus: process]
Personally, I am grateful for having had the very good fortune to meet David and come to know him, even if only slightly. His statement of “I take refuge in my work” rings loud and true. I find tranquility in carving, even if it is to turn good wood into firewood. The connection between brain and hand, seems automatic, and exercising it is calming.
BTW: CBS also produced a print version of the article.