Tuesday, May 24, 2016

State of Matter: Juried Small Iron Works Exhibition

I am very excited to have 3 of my recent sculptures selected for the upcoming exhibition "State of Matter: Juried Small Iron Works" at STEAMWorks in Scranton, PA from June 3rd - June 24th, 2016, with the opening reception on June 3rd from 6-8pm. I am also honored to have my piece, "Closures" featured on the front of the show card alongside other excellent works by highly talented artists. This promises to be an excellent exhibition for anyone in the region and able to attend, check it out on Facebook through the Fire at the Furnace event page: 


Monday, May 23, 2016

2016 SNAG Conference Summery

Accurate description of the Post-Conference Reality.
(As seen on the streets of Asheville, NC)

The 2016 SNAGneXt Conference in Asheville, NC was an excellent event that presented a lot of information, ideas, and inspirations for the artists and makers in attendance to absorb and contemplate. I had a great time seeing friends and colleagues, and truly enjoyed getting back into the creative mix of jewelry and metalsmithing and meeting new artists and educators doing important work in the field. Several of my friends and former classmates issued me direct challenges to get back to my creative work and see what I can produce and accomplish over the coming weeks and months. This is exactly the type of motivation I needed. Challenge accepted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mid-Week Studio Walkthrough

Photo-documentation of creative works in progress, collections of objects for future use, failed attempts at creativity, and the general disorder and chaos of an artists workshop.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Recent Work

Upon completing my MFA at the end of 2010, I found myself without a studio to work in and lacking many of the tools and pieces of equipment I had grown accustomed to using in the creation of my work. After a summer of working at a children's summer camp in Maine teaching jewelry and metalsmithing, I moved into an apartment with my wife and took a full-time position as a bench jeweler. Two years later, we bought a house, and the reality of managing a full-time job, working on constant home improvements and repairs, trying to set up a studio, and somehow have the motivation to create new work set in. Tools can be purchased, machines can be found on Craigslist and refinished, and studio time can be carved out of seemingly insignificant periods of stagnation between responsibilities, but the most difficult aspect of restarting my creative practice has been the lack of community and interaction with other artists and makers. I have been steadily working to remedy this over the past 5 years by completing new pieces and entering shows and exhibitions as often as I can.

This is a selection of the work I have completed post-MFA, including new pieces, pieces that were reworked to have a more successful resolution, units and castings that were started in school but never finished, and commission work. Overall, I have been working on achieving a higher level of resolution and refinement, with all the elements of a piece addressed and considered, including the method of presentation and display, durability of the connection and joining methods, and the longevity of the patinea and finish. Future posts will explore individual pieces and their process in greater depth.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Artist Statement

 Over the past 5 years, I have been reflecting on my time in graduate school pursuing my MFA at East Carolina University, and working full-time as a traditional bench jeweler. This has allowed me to gain perspective on my work and motivation to create art, and to discover what my work is truly about.

The short version:

"My work deals with the idea of control, both in the physical world around us and within our own consciousness. I am fascinated by the subtleties of the physical means of control we encounter throughout our daily lives such as locks, latches, ladders, grates, access hatches, walls, and barricades. I am also deeply interested in the overt and covert influence of those structures and systems that operate behind the scenes of everyday existence that influence and mold our experiential reality such as storm drains, sewers, utility maintenance areas, steam tunnels, and industrial facilities. Through the creation of my sculptural forms, objects, and jewelry, I seek to explore the nature of the unconscious, and create physical representations and reinterpretations of the structures of my internal mental landscape."

And with that out of the way, allow me to explain a bit more....

The central theme I explore in my creative process and highlight in my works is the idea of control. My work has always been about control, both in the imagery I use, and the manner in which I approach the creative process. I have a visual and contextual fascination with locks, safes, grates, hatches, pipes and sewers, as well as the hardware and mechanics of access control and industrial equipment. Through my work, I have been responding to forms of control in society and the physical space we inhabit, as well as creating my own systems and forms of control in the small scale sculpture I construct. I have a deep love for the manipulation of found objects and taking machines apart. I enjoy the sense of altering an objects destiny and controlling how an object is seen and interpreted by the viewer in contrast to its original context and form. Another crucial component of my creative work is the casting process, in which a found or fabricated pattern is transformed from wax, foam, or plastic into metal by making a mold, removing the pattern with heat and fire, and then introducing molten metal into the cavity left behind. Throughout the process there are many variables that can have an effect on the outcome of the finished casting, resulting in incomplete castings, breaks and defects in the mold that introduce new structures and forms to the original intended form, and molten metal that was overheated, under-heated, or poured too quickly or slowly into the mold. It is this element of uncertainty and relinquishing ones artistic control to the casting process that I find exciting and creatively stimulating. In that way, the creative process is surrendered to a process outside of ones conscious actions, and the resulting metal castings are able to be approached fully formed as new objects to be interpreted and manipulated beyond the original intent that launched their creation. 

Thank you for making it through my first post, I promise to  move on to more interesting and stimulating creative topics in the coming weeks and months. This explanation of my work and process has been long overdue, and has taken me 2 years of graduate school and 5 years of living and working in the real world to arrive at. Better late than never, as the work of self-discovery is never truly finished.