J.B. (James Blaine) Blunk (1926 - 2002)
J.B. Blunk was profoundly influenced by the Japanese aesthetic of embracing both perfection and imperfection as seen in his contrasting surfaces, both polished and roughly textured. He mostly used local wood for his sculptures, such as redwood, bay and in this case, cypress. He felt that the cracking of this sculpture was part of the natural process of the wood.
Blunk also worked in clay, stone, jewelry, weaving, bronze casting, and furniture making. After graduating from UCLA in 1949, Blunk spent two years in Japan studying with master sculptor Isamu Naguchi, master potter Kitaoji Rosanjin, and Japanese National Treasure potter Kaneshige Toyo of the unglazed stoneware ceramic tradition. In turn, later in life Blunk had assistants, Bruce Mitchell and Rick Yoshimoto, who became accomplished artists in their own right.
In 1957 artist Gordon Onslow Ford invited Blunk to settle on his land on the ridge above Inverness and Tomales Bay. There, Blunk built an unconventional home for his family that has been featured in art and design publications such as Architectural Digest. His art is held in collections of the Smithsonian Institution, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Zen Center, and Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley.