Frank Cummings’ exquisitely carved and bejeweled objects have earned him the title “the Fabergé of wood art.” The use of precious metals and stones by this longtime professor of art, design, and craft at California State University (Long Beach and Fullerton) made his work an early standout in the shift toward a less functional and more sculptural school of wood art. In On the Edge Naturally, Cummings has carved a self-portrait into the sapwood in a bold statement of identity.


  • Title: On the Edge Naturally
  • Creator: Frank E. Cummings III
  • Date Created: 1990
  • Physical Dimensions: 12 1/4 x 6 1/8 x 7 1/4 in. (31.1 x 15.6 x 18.4 cm)
  • Credit Line: Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Fleur and Charles Bresler
  • Artist: Born Los Angeles, CA 1938
  • Medium: kingwood burl, 18k gold, and mother-of-pearl

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