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Oral history interview with Merryll Saylan

Interviewee:
Saylan, Merryll B., 1936-  Search this
Interviewer:
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Association of Woodturners  Search this
California State University, Northridge -- Students  Search this
International Turned Objects Show (1988 : Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Students  Search this
Wood Turning Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Woodstock School of Painting  Search this
Blunk, J. B., 1926-2002  Search this
Cooper, Michael Jean  Search this
Evans, Ralph  Search this
Foy, George  Search this
Fredell, Gail  Search this
Glaser, Jerry  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016  Search this
Maruyama, Wendy, 1952-  Search this
Rapp, Joanne  Search this
Stocksdale, Bob, 1913-2003  Search this
Stubbs, Del  Search this
Weir-Quiton, Pamela  Search this
Extent:
7 Items (Sound recording: 7 compact discs (6 hr., 9 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.)
116 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
England -- description and travel
France -- description and travel
Guatemala -- Description and Travel
Hong Kong -- Description and Travel
Japan -- Description and Travel
Philippines -- Description and Travel
Date:
2006 May 20-June 5
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Merryll Saylan conducted 2006 May 20-June 5, by Glenn Adamson, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London, England.
Saylan speaks of her childhood in Los Angeles, California; her early musical education in piano and viola; memories of World War II; her family's political views during the Cold War; meeting her first husband at UCLA; dropping out of school to move to Virginia and Georgia in fulfillment of her husband's military service; experiencing anti-Semitism in Georgia; the challenges of her eldest son's speech problems; traveling to France, Japan, Guatemala, Hong Kong and the Philippines; her interest in Japanese culture; completing her B.A. in design at UCLA and her M.A. in studio art at California State University, Northridge; anti-Vietnam sentiment on campus; early interests in environmental design; her second husband and his friends; her interest in furniture and woodworking; differing approaches to woodworking on the east and west coasts; her views on feminism and working women; her use of color and texture in woodworking; teaching experiences; popular perception of her work; receiving a grant to go to England and her involvement with English and German woodturners; the lack of collector interest in her work; forced absences from working because of illnesses; serving on the boards of the American Association of Woodturners and The Woodturning Center; her involvement in the International Turned Objects Show, the Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Biannual Exposition, and the International Turning Exchange; her thoughts on future work. Saylan also recalls George Foy, Bob Stocksdale, Michael Cooper, Pamela Weir-Quiton, Joanne Rapp, J.B. Blunk, Marvin Lipofsky, Gail Fredell, Wendy Maruyama, Ralph Evans, Del Stubbs, Jerry Glaser, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Merryll Saylan (1936- ) is a wood artist from San Rafael, California. Glenn Adamson (1972- ) is a museum professional, in London, England.
General:
Originally recorded on 7 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 9 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Woodworkers -- California  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Environmental engineering  Search this
Feminism and art  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
Furniture making -- Study and teaching  Search this
Turning -- Study and teaching  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Woodwork  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.saylan06
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw935cef910-0ce6-49cb-a74d-2d2735b3f08e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-saylan06
Online Media:

Oral history interview with J.B. Blunk

Interviewee:
Blunk, J. B., 1926-2002  Search this
Interviewer:
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
61 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2002 May 16
Scope and Contents:
An interview of J.B. Blunk conducted 2002 May 16, by Glenn Adamson, in Inverness, California, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Blunk speaks about his childhood in Kansas; his studies at UCLA; classes with ceramic artist Laura Andreson; Andreson taking her students to see an exhibition of Japanese potters; Japanese influence and his desire to go to Japan; his service in the United States Army during the Korean War and being stationed in Japan at the end of the war; meeting Isamu Noguchi for the first time at a Mingei ceramic shop; meeting potter Kitaoji Rosanjin through Noguchi's wife, Yoshiko; his apprenticeship with Rosanjin; wedging clay for Rosanjin; his living arrangements at Rosinjin's house; his work for potter Toyo Kaneshige and traveling with him to Bizen, Japan; Blunk's return to California; building a kiln; teaching pottery at a small art school near Santa Monica; meeting his wife and working with her at a children's camp; his work on a sheep ranch and making metal jewelry; his move to Inverness and the abundance of wood there; learning how to use a chain saw while constructing a roof for Gordon Onslow-Ford's home (designed by Warren Callister); the wood he sculpted for his own home; his travels in 1969 and 1970 to Mexico and Macchu Picchu; his bench, "Seating Sculpture, 1968-69," in the exhibition Objects: USA; his Redwood bench sculpture in the California Design exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum; his exhibition at the Bolinas Museum; his method of making an arch sculpture out of cypress wood, including chiseling the wood with a gouge; his sculpture, "Six Stones," at Stanford University; his use of shoe dye to blacken his sculptures; the personality and tactile qualities in his work; sculpting wet wood; the difficulties of sculpting with eucalyptus and his fondness for redwood; his piece at the Tassajara Mountain Zen Center in Carmel Valley, California; a commission from the Orientation Center for the Blind, Albany, California; and the 1994 forest fire that threatened his house. Blunk also recalls Bruce Mitchell and Warren Callister.
Biographical / Historical:
J.B. Blunk (1926-2002) was a woodworker from Inverness, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 34 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Woodworkers -- California -- Interviews.  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Woodwork -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Woodwork -- Technique  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.blunk02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e19639c5-7edb-4ad1-afe1-68d69d5d6d5b
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-blunk02
Online Media:

Seating Sculpture, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Redwood
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
S. C. Johnson and Sons Racine Wisconsin
Date:
1968-1969
Topic:
Undetermined  Search this
Control number:
IAS 76008639
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_19394

Untitled, Three Forms, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Redwood
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Laguna Art Museum 307 Cliff Drive Laguna Beach California 92651-9990 Accession Number: 85.045
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 02680031
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_293577

Compote, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Bizen ware
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 151 Third Street San Francisco California 94103 Accession Number: 59.1678
Date:
1954
Topic:
Object--Other--Container  Search this
Control number:
IAS 04280048
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_295826

Invisible Presence, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Cypress
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 151 Third Street San Francisco California 94103 Accession Number: 71.2
Date:
1962
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Allegory--Other--Imagination  Search this
Control number:
IAS 04280049
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_295827

The Planet, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Redwood burl
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Oakland Museum 1000 Oak Street Oakland California 94607
Date:
1969
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Allegory--Element--Earth  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87850002
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_299998

Altar, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Cypress
Type:
Sculptures
Date:
1966
Topic:
Architecture--Detail--Altar  Search this
Control number:
IAS 87850005
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_300001

Muse, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Redwood burl on concrete pedestals
Type:
Sculptures-Exedra
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
World Learning, Inc School for International Training Black Mountain Road Brattleboro Vermont 05301
Date:
1972? Installed 1975
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Mythology--Classical--Muse  Search this
Control number:
IAS VT000132
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_311505

Rolling Stone, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
River stone
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Castro Commons Professional Center 1172 Castro Mountain View California
Date:
1994
Topic:
Abstract--Geometric  Search this
Control number:
IAS CA000723
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_327690

(Carved Redwood Seating Unit), (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Redwood, carved
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures-Bench
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz California
Located University of California, Santa Cruz Stevenson College, Main Quad Santa Cruz California
Date:
1968
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS CA000754
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_328975

Magic Boat, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: redwood, carved; Supports: granite; Foundation: concrete
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures-Bench
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
California Orientation Center for the Blind Business Services Office 400 Adams Albany California 94706
Date:
1979
Topic:
Architecture--Boat  Search this
Control number:
IAS CA000849
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_330046

(Bench Sculpture), (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Wood
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures-Bench
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
World Savings Building Courtyard, southeast of the building Oakland California
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS CA000920
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_331057

The Fallen Giant, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Sculpture: redwood tree; Base: concrete, metal, and rock, painted
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures-Bench
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
University of California, Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Lawn Berkeley California 94720
Date:
1982. Relocated 1993. Reinstalled Nov. 5, 1993
Topic:
Landscape--Tree--Redwood Tree  Search this
Control number:
IAS CA001013
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_332724

Seating Sculpture, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Carved redwood burl
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Oakland Museum 1000 Oak Street Oakland California 94607 Accession Number: 69.173
Date:
1968-1969
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 75000957
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_3392

Station Hill, (sculpture)

Title:
Redwood Seating Sculpture, (sculpture)
Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Redwood
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures-Bench
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Administered by Menlo Park Corridor Joint Powers Board San Carlos California
Located Menlo Park Train Station Menlo Park California
Date:
1987
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS CA002050
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_342122

Six Stones, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Blunk, J. B. 1926-2002  Search this
Medium:
Stone
Type:
Sculptures-Outdoor Sculpture
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
Stanford University Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University Stanford California 94305
Date:
1993
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Control number:
IAS 04920003
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_395185

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