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:
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.