Bruce McQuiston’s sculpture combines modern non-objective forms with the organic feel of hardwoods. All works utilize hardwoods that are salvaged, either from hurricane damage or standing dead wood. Some of the pieces use Aluminum and Stainless Steel in combination with the hardwoods to provide structure and support. The works are generally human scale with very smooth surfaces and invite the viewer to touch.
Many of the pieces are constructed of Cuban Mahogany (swietenia mahogany), a very rare and coveted wood indigenous only to South Florida and the islands of Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola. These trees generally have a life span of sixty to seventy years. As they go beyond this age, they decline in structure starting at the base of the tree. When the base becomes hollow the tree can no longer support itself and must be taken down. These hollow sections provide McQuiston with some of the more interesting starting points for his work. Many of these trees had been planted in the 1920's in the development of the cities of Miami and Coral Gables.
McQuiston develops his ideas through a series of drawings. After the concept is developed the task becomes the selection of the wood. "The key is to find a piece of wood that will best fit the design and while the designs are largely pre-determined, the right piece of wood will contribute to the ultimate feel of the piece through its abnormalities", says McQuiston. His recent Bronze castings utilize the wood pieces as the source for the mold making process. The patinas on the bronze castings reflect a natural, depth and luster continuing the look achieved in his wood pieces.