Steam + Wood = Sculpture (P23)

Instructor: Jacob Elias

Join visual artist and woodworker, Jacob Elias, for an interactive glimpse into the world of lantern sculptures he's built for the performance Vulture Sister Song, scheduled for Friday, April 7 at 6:30 PM. Jacob will introduce participants to bending wood with steam, an age-old technique employed in utilitarian and decorative applications alike. In this workshop, you'll be steaming strips of native species of oak and ash in a purpose-built box.  Once the wood is pliable, you'll collaboratively use forms already present in the space - trees, furniture, architectural features, etc. - to make site-specific impressions, which can then be lashed together with twine to achieve a loose sculptural translation of the environment. The final emergent form can remain on site. As envisioned it can easily be deconstructed, repurposed, burned, or put into the woods to biodegrade, returning the carbon from which it is constructed to the soil.  The workshop is open to adults and young adults; children ages 10-16 years old are welcome with an Adult registration.

 Browse All Classes


Jacob Elias is a violin maker and musician, but has made extended forays into painting, art history, woodworking, acting, as well as evolutionary biology and ecology, in which he holds a master’s degree. While seemingly disparate, these diverse disciplines intersect in their reverence for, and desire to understand the natural world, the raw materials it begets, and their refinement into elemental, beautiful entities. To some extent a luddite, Jacob embraces technologies, materials, and aesthetics that have been available for centuries, and through them seeks to enjoy a camaraderie with humanity of the past and present. He works from his home studio outside of Ithaca, NY, where he resides with his brilliant partner Rachel, their cat, 10 chickens, and a stick insect.