Background

teapotSimply put, my work is about life. I am interested in the emotions and commonalities people share, and I am constantly amazed at how even the most mundane event or feeling can become supercharged once transferred into object form. I use the drama of our experiences to explore both the light and dark cycles of life: birth, death, union, separation, redemption, and so on– the good, the bad, and the beautiful.

 

Why did I study metalsmithing in this day and age? Let me try to explain why that worked for me, what I got/get out of it and how that affects who I am today. Seven points, to start you off. There are more I haven’t written down:

  1. Power. In metal, I can make anything I can imagine.
  2. Humility. The design process associated with hand working metal is slow and technically challenging. Just when you think you are a rockstar, it will knock your ego down a few pegs, because screw-ups happen. You have to overcome those through blood sweat and tears, or creative thinking.
  3. Design sensitivity. I pay attention to everything, especially relating to visuals, touch, and sound. If a better solution comes up during the creation process, I am sensitive to that and can chose to go with it or note the innovation for the future.
  4. Brain health. Craft involves your physical body and your imaginative mind. I am good at logical and analytical processes as well as those emotional and artistic. I’m not a one-sided person anyway — I was always good at managing money AND have also always been an artist. The peaceful state of doing mindless tasks (filing, planishing) is kind of fun too as you get more ideas literally while you are working. I understand plasticity thoroughly in metal, and think it is a pretty cool concept for the brain as well. Something to study…
  5. Immortality. Well not quite, but my metalwork will out live me. It’s durable enough, and there is a good chance that the ROM and the City of Ottawa won’t sell, lose, or melt down my pieces in their collections, at least while I’m living. It’s only polite. If you snag a book I’ve been published in, some visuals live there too. Here are some publications: 500 Metal Vessels; Craft Perception and Practice Volume III; 1000 Rings; 500 Brooches.
  6. Fullness. I do not produce a lot of pieces. That does not make me sad — it is by design. How many tiaras, sculptures, and chalices does the world need each year? Seriously. The pieces I make WANT to exist, or someone wants them to exist. And if the pieces do not, I return them to the raw state, where creation can begin.
  7. Experiencing time in different ways. Time flows fast (flow state)= when you are really into something. Time it takes to finish something expands depending on how much time a project is allotted (similar to Parkinson’s Law). To not let that last one completely kill your project management/project outcomes I give myself structure, even as the project evolves as needed. Having trouble with this yourself? Maybe design some structure, or reach out.

Passage 2013 CUTEntry Epaulettes 2013large dark

For art, I like to now keep it non-commercial. I used to do commissions, but time is so precious to me that I really only want to do things involving artistic solutions. You can always inquire. I don’t tend to exhibit in shows that don’t pay artists fees, and/or that aren’t invitational, and I don’t care if that makes my “CV” look thin. I love the idea of out-of-the-box residencies. I sometimes do those. I like new experiences.

 

metalsmith gandalf