Rebecca Nase Chomyn
Born in Vermont, Nase Chomyn studied at the Pratt Institute in New York before relocating to Northern California. She has worked as a full time metal fabricator and is part of the Voigt Family Sculpture Foundation team. She now balances her career with a young family. Nase Chomyn creates work with twisted metal and never makes the same sculpture twice.
I worked directly with Al Voigt in sculpture and structural building for 6 years. Most projects we worked on were additions to his house and/or property. The Voigt Ranch is a large property with gardens, paths, sculptures, and a "dried up river bed" running throughout. Not only have I built steel structures with Al, but I have planted gardens, raked the paths, moved the sculptures, hand selected and placed many tons of rocks. Through all this work and time spent with Al, I learned his aesthetic, and expectations of how things should look around the ranch.
Coming from a background of science and math, naturally, Al's ideals stem from those subjects. For instance, he always said that table legs are best when there are only 3, and plants needed to be placed in groups of 3. Triangles are found everywhere in nature, it is the simplest, strongest form. He always wanted things done as simple as possible to still be structurally sound. Less was more, and elegant was the word he preferred.
My artistic tendencies tend to be on the opposite side of Al's but we worked very well together and ended up creating beautiful things. Al was very much into minimalist, simple and clean looks, where I tend to have wild free-flowing organic work. But Al loved nature and realized that I was very good at replicating it.
In my sculpture, Orbiting Brilliance, I chose the same type of rocks that make up the river beds at the Voigt Ranch. The steel grid structure is a to-scale model of a giant trellis roof over the "Tea House" at the ranch, both of which I built with Al.
The twisted organic parts of the sculpture have been a running theme in my personal work. They have been woven into many different aspects and highlights throughout the ranch.
The idea behind this sculpture is that the giant rock is representational of Al, while the other rocks are different people he affected throughout his life. Al was such a powerful and intelligent person. People tended to flock to him, they wanted to be apart of the brilliance inside of his head. He is essentially the nucleus and the other folks are the electrons orbiting around him.
The grid is not only a remembrance of things that I have built with Al, but a representation of his rigid and geometric aesthetic that was generally found in his sculptural designs.
The organically bent steel is representational of me personally, and also of how Al and I worked together, keeping free form inside and around robust structures.