Sculpted Motives

Art finds its place in every corner of a couple’s home

“When we thought about building and designing this house, we wanted to create something that was warm and cozy and rustic, with natural wood and stone, because we are surrounded by woods and water. It was always the snow, the sound, the light, and the birds and critters that played into the design concept. We resourced as much material from Maine as possible throughout the project, and it was a really collaborative process between me, my wife, and our design-build contractor, Jerald Cunningham.

“As we were building the house, it came time to start talking about the stair railing. Jerald’s foreman, Dan Hoyt, had broken his leg one fall and spent some time creating furniture out of maple twigs; he offered to make us a railing out of the maple twigs, too. Come spring, he harvested all of the wood from his farm in Hiram and started to build the railing. When the twigs are harvested, they’re green and very flexible, so it’s easy to bend them. Once they dry, they become very stiff, and then you can add urethane and varnish to seal it; they start to get a nice patina and their color turns from bone white to amber.

“So, when Dan started to make the railing, the twigs were straight up and down, but my artistic aesthetic is really based around random lines, so I told him, ‘these twigs have to be going all kinds of crazy directions.’ It needed to look really random. Once it was finished, it was perfect, and people are captivated by the look of it when they come here.

“I spent many years as a physician and surgeon before I became a full-time artist. As a surgeon, the hand conceptually holds great symbolic esteem for me. In this particular sculpture, I depicted the hand in the stance of a figure skater, inspired by my daughter Taryn, and made it from plaster, wood, fabric, and wire. The art plays really well with the house—each piece has found its own place to live and fit in. I can’t imagine what we would do if we were to move someplace else.”

–Ed Friedman, homeowner and artist

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