Thursday, January 29, 2009

Artists who use electroforming and enameling in their work


Dennis makes unique wire vessels and jewelry, although I wasn't able to find any pictures of his beautiful garden series brooches that I like so much. His bracelets, brooches and pendants look like smaller more delicate versions of his vessels. Jan always says that when you look at an artist's work and can't identify what processes were used in creating the piece, then the piece is successful.

When I first saw Dennis' work at the Smithsonian Craft Show, I looked around for fifteen minutes in his small space inspecting everything until I finally asked him how he made his work and what it was made from! He said he uses a metal matrix, screening, electroforms that and then uses patinas to add color.



This artist I can't find much about, but when googling "electroformed" I came across some of her work that I thought was interesting. She primarily makes lampworked glass beads and vessels but recently started incorporating metal into her work as well.

We were talking in class about using other materials for our matrices, rather than just wax, and when I saw that Vickie electroforms glass vessels she makes, I took a closer look. I can't figure out how she got all of the copper bumps...are they nodules? Whatever they are I think they are beautiful! I also like the way that only parts of the vessels are plated, revealing some off the smooth glass through the rough copper.



"Lechtzin's 'Torque' series is an example of his work that utilizes electroforming preceding his use of the computer. He has been making these pieces since the early 70’s. Each piece consists of similar features such as the cast plastic torque body with variable electroformed ornmentation. Though many of the torque pieces are bangles as the title implies, some serve as neckpieces or brooches. (The three pieces shown here) flaunt the freedom of Lechtzin's materials and processes, they are large forms that would be too heavy if he had not used electroforming and plastics."

Lechtzin's pieces draw me in because they are so elaborate. Electroforming does not come into my head at all when I look at these pieces. In fact, no processes do, which I think make these pieces successful. My eye is too busy moving around the forms and looking at all of the detail.



"Huff is known for her one of a kind sculptural jewelry, based on botanical forms and made of enamel, electroformed copper and fine silver."

She says, "my current work is plant-based, often with actual seed pods or other plant material serving as a starting point for the form. Some pieces derive from cross-sections of parts of plant anatomy, such as roots and stems. In my recent hybrid series, I combine plant forms from multiple sources creating new forms which are not meant to be representational, yet are intended to look as though they could exist. The pieces are very much about growth and development, as if caught in the act of becoming something.
My materials and techniques enable me to explore the sensuousness of plant forms, their structure and patterns of growth, the processes of time and the sensory appeal of an opject's tactile qualities."

Although I have only been able to find two pictures of Huff's work online, I absolutely love her artist's statement. My creative mind works in a very similar way. A lot of the forms I end up crafting are branch like or based on forms such as seed pods found in nature. I like my work to also look very literal, not changing much from the original form I get my inspiration from. I love all of the qualities of objects found in nature and want replicate these beautiful forms in metal.



Bennett is a metalsmith that makes enameled brooches and pendants. There's a nice hand drawn quality to his work. Jan mentioned in class that if you look along the edges of some of his pieces you can see a bumpy dashed line indicative of nodules that might have formed there and have been taken off, so I think some of her pieces might be electroformed.



"'I am interested in capturing both the beauty and inelegance of objects as they proceed through decay and regeneration,' Phillips has said. The resulting collection looks as if it might have been gathered from a forest floor, but is, in fact, created out of a combination of enamel, string, steel, silver and electroformed copper."

What I love about Maria's work, as Jan already said in class, is that she didn't take the traditional enameling route. A lot of the enameled work I see is very detailed and perfect, and that is not really my style. In fact it kind of turns me off to enameling. However looking at artists like Maria who use enamel the way she does, I start to get excited about working with it!



Schwarz uses enameling and copper electroplating in her work. She is most well known for her sculptural vessels. I love the imperfectness of her work. It's like she wasn't forcing the metal, just allowing it to do it's own thing as she formed her vessels. I also like the subtle hints of color she added in with the enamel. It's not overpowering her work, and allows the forms to be the main focus which is a direction I think I want to head in.



In her biotech series, Meleney is making glass forms inspired by nature and encasing them in an electroformed skin to add contrast to the glass surface. These pendants are lampworked glass with enamel and electroformed copper with liver of sulfur patina.



Harlan Butt is a metalsmith who makes enameled copper vessels inspired by nature. I love that there is so much going on in each vessel. Lots of color, texture, design and interesting form. What I like the most about his vessels is the way it looks like each is covered in scales. I can not figure out how he uses the enamel to create this pattern, but I'd love to find out!



Form and design are the of focus in Seidenath's work. She uses enamel to enhance her forms and add colorful designs. In her artist's statement she says that she has been recently examining the dimensional possibilities of transparent enamels. In Enameling I, I did not like to work much with transparent enamels. I stuck to the opaque because I liked the brightly saturated colors I could get. I love this idea of layering transparent enamels not only to give a piece more depth and dimension, but maybe also to explore new color possibilities which I hadn't thought of before.



Astfalck is an artist I found on google who uses some enameling and elctroforming in her work among many other processes. Atflack uses a lot of mixed media and this got me thinking about some other materials I could incorpate into my matrices before electroforming them.

paper, silver, enamel, pearls, fossilied Shark-teeth:

silver electroformed on plastics, silk, organic materials and raffia:

silver electroformed on oak twigs, fabricated copper leaves