Artist and Craftsman Copper Metalsmith, Industrial Arts
It must have been that one Art Metal class I took so many years ago as a high school freshman.
Later,when I was in my middle thirties I became very interested in the arts.
I'm not exactly sure why. It just became important. I recognized the metal
arts as familiar.
I gravitated towards the metal copper. I liked that it
was an ancient metal with many different looks and a finish that's
always changing. It has special properties, such as its malleability.
It has special abilities, such as healing and purifying found in ancient
cultures. I liked all the color possibilities, the way the colors grew and
evolved. It yielded well to the urging of my tools and hands. It is a
relatively inexpensive metal and readily available.
Utilizing some of my experience as a journeyman Tool and Die Maker,
I fashioned many tools I needed. Forming, clamping, fixtureing and
cutting tools. Today I use some of the tools I made during my Tool
and Die apprenticeship as well as a few of my grandfather's (also
a Toolmaker) hand made tools. Vices, punches, hammers. Design wise,
being practical, I try to join form and function in my work, but not always.
In my broad range of work I have made cupola roofs, lanterns, fountains,
garden sinks, wall sculptures, vases and bowls, as well as an occasional
With my wall sculptures, vases, lanterns and bowls, I try to bring
symbols and forms to life with earthen colors, preferring the naturally
occurring colors through heat and oxidation over the brightly polished
look. While many of my pieces provide a practical function, the wall sculptures are for purely artistic or my own fabrication enjoyment. Some of my more whimsical creations are large scale insects, meant to be mounted outdoors in the elements. They are backlit, so at night they present a silhouette and a surprising effect with detail piercings letting the light through. I like to use images from the natural world, exploring the primitive and symbolic resonance that grow in our minds and I view the pliable and versatile nature of copper to illuminate the connection between the world and imagination. I like to add lighting in a metaphorical way to show the constant of opposing properties, like shadow and light, that makes up our thinking and perceptions.
With my jewelry once again I use mostly copper to make bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Textured, formed and oxidized, they are also finished with earthy colors. I usually construct my own clasps as well.My more detailed pieces are fabricated with married metals, combinations of copper, silver, nickle and brass fused together. A handmade hydraulic press and a guided jewelers saw of my own design are used in the construction of much of my work. Outside of a few workshops, I am mostly self taught, as I am with most things in my life. I have no formal education in design or any artistry but find my inspiration and knowledge all around me, influenced by other art, artists and my curious nature. I am happiest when I use my hands to bring ideas into being.
Although I work with other metals, copper's dynamic, ancient and mystical nature fits with my artistic vision of responding to the natural world's earthly gifts that surround us.
I hope you enjoy your visit to my virtual gallery.