Wooden Curlew on Stand by Alex Buderer


Wooden Curlew on Stand by Alex Buderer

Alexander "Alex" Buderer (1943-2018) carved this handsome long-billed curlew in his Shell Knob, Missouri woodworking shop in 1988. He was a talented artist who described himself as a "Wood Artist, Furniture Designer and Builder." From his bio on the Hyde Gallery website: ​"I have been inspired by my uncle Alexander Kozak who was a sculptor in New York. To watch my uncle transform and re-define materials was something that really excited me. I love to work with wood that has been cast aside as worthless, then reclaim it to become a work of art." Alex was an admirer of American woodworker and furniture designer George Nakashima, famous for his respect for trees and the author of "The Soul of a Tree."

This stylized carving of a long-billed shorebird is a prime example of Buderer's ability to coax art from wood. The bird has a smooth, sinuous body, the wood left its natural color except for the belly, which was given a wash of white paint to simulate the real thing. The long beak is also wood and it has copper tack eyes. The stand is brass and is mounted in a vertically sliced branch with its concentric rings, polished silky smooth on the top and displaying insect incursions for added texture. The bark has been left intact on the edges, along with a knot at one end.

The underside of the base was smoothed but not polished. It's hand signed, etched in the wood, " 1988 #132 Alex Buderer." (The initials EC are etched into the belly, probably those of a previous owner.) Alex moved his "Alex Buderer Creations" from Long Island, New York, to Shell Knob in 1981, so we know he made this piece in Missouri.

The bird measures 16 inches long from tip of bill to tip of tail. It stands 10 1/2 inches tall including the base, which is 2 inches high. Weighing 1 pound, 3 ounces, it is in excellent condition, a superb woodcarving by a well-known artist.

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