I'm stuck in the same spot, except for the fact that I've sent my models out to be cast in silver... once those come back, I can just hammer out 15 rings. I already have all the cups prepped but I have to finish up the rest of the jump rings. The show is soon; mid-December! :)
The most beautiful thing about metal is its duality. It is fluid in ways the audience would never expect. The processing of the material itself is a substantial portion of the art as opposed to just the end product. By calling on the fluidity and organic way of nature, I can only begin to translate through metals in hammering soft curves into something so rigid.
A. When do you first remember making art?
It was the simplest thing. I was in first grade and every day, we had to finish a sentence starter. I don’t remember what the sentence was at all but I remember it was one of the first few pages, and I had drawn myself in art class at a table with 4 of my classmates. Looking back, it obviously wasn’t the most beautiful thing but I could not be prouder of my attempt at three-dimensionality of that table.
- What were the experiences like?
I was never much of a drawer even after that. I loved crafting things, and I would convince my mother to buy me a truckload of little wooden shapes and boxes to paint and decorate with acrylics and pom-poms, pipe cleaners, glitter, and the like.
- What compelled you to return to art throughout your life?
I never grew out of the crafting. I fell in love with scrapbooking, which isn’t really an art but a challenge to composition and design. However, in fifth grade I fell in love with photography and followed it through until my senior year of high school. There was something inexplicable about why I loved it so much. Through the framing of the lens, I found everything to be beautiful. Especially after I began to use black and white photography. Everything was reduced down to bare basics, and it depended on composition, lines, and values. Somehow the stillness of a photograph could convey so many things I had difficulty verbalizing.
- When did you first consider yourself an artist?
It’s hard to say. Since a young age in elementary school, I was always encouraged as a creator, at the very least, which evolved into being an artist. I suppose I began to be genuinely proud of my work in tenth grade when I took my first upper level photography class (aside from the fifth grade class).
B. Experience with Specific Artwork
Although this does not shine through any piece of my work, I have always been in awe of the sculpture of Laocoon and His Sons in Rome. The folds of the fabric, the dynamics of the human figures with the fluid snakes, and the small and intricate details of the hair, fingers, and toes will never cease to amaze me. The way someone’s hands can create such fluidity with such a concrete material is astounding.
There is no single person who has influenced me. I found that I have developed my own taste as to what is attractive. I can say right off the bat what I think is beautiful and what poor, but as for my own work, it is so diverse that I can’t say what has influenced me. It all comes from my own mind and decision of my eyes without regards to what I have seen or studied in the past. I do love the motifs of the Art Deco period but that has yet to be clearly emulated through my work.
D. How does your work relate to art that has been produced in the past?
I suppose any period that utilizes a lot of curves and perhaps with the combination of linear elements might be connected to my work. The best periods to compare could be Art Deco and Art Nouveau.
-How does it relate to art that you are seeing in your community, exhibitions, or in art publications? what is similar? what do you consider to be unique to you?
In all honesty, I am not one for museums, exhibitions, or anything of the like. Any times I visit those institutions, it is more often than not, to study pieces I have absolutely no interest in. I like to draw from the online community of photography and metalwork that I have saved or connected to, and found that some of my artists have similar themes. From this, I have created a genre for them in my mind and consider them my “community.” Outside of this, I draw from nature as art.
A. What inspires you to create? Is it the materials you use? The places you see and visit? The people you know and meet? Your emotional state? Other artists’ work? The mark you make on the page? Form specific ideas about the act of making art, not generalized phrases that appear in so many statements
I have been making art with all kinds of materials since I was a kid. It was mainly the childish arts and crafts wood, film as I got older, and then I moved on to metal. I fell in love with the metal and its deceiving solidity. I found metal could be as fluid as clay, and as brute as it initially seems, I learned to work with metal in delicate ways.
B. How has your art evolved in the 5 years? 1 year? 6 months? Pick those that are appropriate to the length of your career and write about them. What has stayed the same? What are common threads? What has changed a little? What has changed dramatically? How have you felt about your art along the way?
The beginning of my artistic life would be 5 years ago when I first took my official photography class. I had always been creating art in my own juvenile ways but I began to take photography seriously and considered elements of design more closely through composition and light. It began as a recording of everything I found beautiful or aesthetically intriguing, but now through more interactive creation with metals, I am creating what I find beautiful or aesthetically intriguing.
C. Describe the process of thinking about your work and how it comes together in your mind. Do not describe the actual making of the work. How do you begin an artwork? What inspires you to start it? Then, what is the first step? Is it a drawing? a photograph? a single mark?
When I begin my art, whether it be a painting or metalwork, I often find inspiration from the original, clever, and ingenious around me. I spill out whatever is in my head onto the paper in rough outlined sketches. I have images of what I am drawing from ingrained in my head as I sketch, and then I go on with my work. The first work would usually be a maquette to leave room for modifications and improvements.
D. How do you physically go about putting a work of art together? What are the steps that are involved? Is this a process understood by the majority of people? Or would it be helpful for you to define it somehow? If so, try to find the words. Do you approach a traditional medium in a unique way?
Maquettes (or prototypes) are key to my process. As much as I have worked with the material, I still barely have a strong grasp on how it will react to my pushing and pulling. I am still very young in the field of metals so I am still learning the full potentials and extent of what can be done.
E. Thinking back and looking back on what you have written so far this week, select the points that you feel are most relevant and unique about how you work.
The main theme that seems to rise from my process would be recording (whether it be through photography or sketches of internal images) and practice through maquettes until I have perfected my work. This may not be the most unique thing as it seems to be the generic model for many artists, but at the same time I am still growing and developing my process.
Write five sentences about your working methods.
I’ll pass across something strikingly beautiful that I’ll want in my own life. From this, my head will spout a million ways and ideas of how to do the same thing, but spin on my own creative way to interpret it. I’ll pull out originality and sketch it down to the exact science. Then come the maquettes which will all teach me all the things that could go wrong. In the end, I will have all of this to draw on and produce my best work.
A. Are there any emotions you are trying to elicit? What are the formal qualities (line, shape, color, texture, etc.) you would like people to recognize? What do you want them to say about your use of materials? Or your subject matter? What would you really like for people to say about your art?
There are no usual emotions I am trying to elicit from my audience. Other than the uplifting feeling of seeing something attractive, I would like my pieces to be viewed as something beautiful to have around, as a reminder of all the beautiful things in the world. Hopefully my audience will recognize my persistent push for curves and fluidity in metals- a material initially thought of as stiff and static. The subject matter will often be the subject of beauty and its elements itself which leaves a great opening to interpretation.
B. Write down at least three complete thoughts that would help guide people to examine your art more closely and, perhaps, elicit the responses you want/ hope for.
Such small parts of the whole piece are not always crafted as delicately as they appear. Sometimes massive hammering or gentle nudges of pliers create it. This is the beauty in metal- it is often thought of as inflexible yet it can be molded into almost anything imaginable in one way or another. The most beautiful thing to do with metal is create curvature, as it is usually presented as stiff, straight, or flat in its raw form from the factory.
C. What are people really saying about your work and what can you write/say to guide them?
Metal is fluid. Metal is a rock. Metal is cold. Metal is searing. Metal is black, orange, or blue. Metal is anything.
You can hammer it. You can melt it. You can color it. You can etch it. You can crack it. You can mold it. You can do anything.
It is all a matter of combining a few of these things. I use them all to create what I find beautiful.
D. Complete the following thoughts (not a fill-in-the-blank):
a. I choose the subject of beauty and its elements because everyone is free to interpret beauty their own way. They are free to accept or reject my interpretation of beauty.
b. I am most inspired by nature because of its originality and organic elements. Nature is full of curvature unlike manmade objects.
c. I choose metal because it never ceases to intrigue me with how fluid such a solid material can be molded into.
d. I think viewers are most interested in my usually organic forms and minute details created by such a seemingly rigid and difficult material.