Stories from the studio Part One

Artist Lori Norwood is creating one-of-a-kind, bespoke awards to be given out to winners at our first annual 38 North Adventure Fest. Follow along as she documents her creative process and design layout...

Hmmm… In trying to come up with an  award for 38N Adventure Fest, I keep distilling my thoughts into a couple considerations; first, the object needs to reference our particular geography and it needs to imply movement (we are talking self-propelled adventuring here!). Second, it needs to be practical in it’s size, weight and material . I had a general silhouette in mind and kept coming back to grasses and prairie fires. Third, I wanted to incorporate the cool logo we already have for 38N.


Adventuring can take so many forms and be represented individually by bikes or paddles or hiking boots, etc., none of which can say it all.  I considered a compass or an “earth wind and fire” elements motif. Actually, I still am considering that one. I find an unexplored trail so inviting but have not found an idea to capture that sculpturally, so that image is scratched for now...  I like the burning of the prairie, put into motion, the best. The trick is to make that concept into an interesting object that has a certain scale conducive to being handed off to recipients during the festival.  I want a more vertical than horizontal format, partly to take the idea of the prairie out of the expected horizontal landscape.  

The fire is taken, of course, from the yearly dramatic burning of the Flint Hills. Here it doubles for passion. 

Movement, Passion, In Kansas. There you have it.


What can be done with pencil on paper is a far cry from 3-D, but here’s the original sketch I started with; 




Here I am starting to play with the overall shape. How do I want the general gesture to feel? I am going for a twisting kind of wave. I will work it up and see where I get with this.  I can see right now that I want to compress it into a flatter plane for ease of casting as well as to keep it a more simplified object.

I am a figurative sculptor, meaning I work primarily with human and animal forms, but the principals of design are the same (not to say they can’t be messed-with) .

Problem; close resemblance to the hair of a troll doll. Aghhh!!!!


Adding a base of the 38N logo gives us a place to put text about the award and the name of the recipient and the date on the back side, or it could go at the very bottom under the logo.  I am recognizing I need to simplify/ work on the grass and fire, making the grass more grasslike and the fire more firelike. Tricky.

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Time to get the template for the logo made! It should be here in a week. I have some time for more adventures before then!