David Penner Artist Statement
I received my Ph.D. in Cognitive Developmental Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993. My research centered on how children structure their understanding of the natural world. Eventually, I became interested in how people construct physical objects that reflect conceptual ideas. In 2001 I left academia to focus on creating objects that reflect my experiences.
My artwork is driven by my interactions with the people and physical world around me. I enjoy experimenting with forms, patterns and textures to create unique works of art. I strive to enhance objects with the addition of carved decorations, incised lines, textures, and/or the application of color. These enhancements are done with careful attention to fostering the qualities of the developing piece.
Although I work with many materials, most of my work involves wood and metal. Many of my sculptures incorporate the textures and patterns of discarded industrial objects. Similarly, my turned pieces utilize logs “rescued” from firewood piles or mulch grinders. My furniture typically uses wood harvested locally in Wisconsin.
I strive to develop forms that have the capacity to engage on different levels; something best accomplished when one allows the work to reveal itself over time.