We've been so thrilled hearing your feedback about our current exhibition showing at CraftACT, a collaborative exhibition between the two of us titled Making: A Way of Life.The exhibition encompasses two bodies of work, vases and flatware and today we wanted to introduce in a little more depth our new vases.
To begin, we set ourselves a brief for this exhibition. To create new work that blends small-scale production techniques with one of a kind artwork processes to create objects that explore the skill of the craftsman along with another, perhaps rarer skill, the art of production. That is, the ability to develop, design, make and bring to fruition a collection that is repeatable and more widely accessible to audiences yet retains the character and an element of uniqueness, a hint of the makers hand, that a unique artwork would hold and is often lacking in massed produced products.
Through the design of our specialised tooling for the Flow Form Vase, we set out to develop and design a tooling process that once refined becomes a methodical and efficient process to use in our workshop - yet the outcome unique each time - allowing us to create one-of-a-kind pieces that capture the hand of the maker.
The process we developed resulted in complex hydraulic pressing tools that allows the initial tubular form - in either brass or stainless steel - to be pressed along the length. The pressing is repeated many times along the form – each time changing the surface – sometimes pulling at previous indentations, other times deepening them.
As with most creative processes, we moved backwards and forwards - testing, experimenting, coming up against challenges and seeking to resolve them. We made our first steel tool, positioned it ready for it's first test. What ensued was a continuing process of testing and measuring. Pushing the limits to see what we could achieve. At times this involved small tool changes with noticeable results, other times it was rebuilding the tool, or even once or twice catastrophic breaking of the tool! It's always a tricky balance between designing and making a tooling that would allows of us to create a unique form that is true to our aesthetic and captures the essence of the handcrafted object, but remains economical to produce by hand in our workshop.
The placement of the pressings is seemingly random, guided intuitively by our hands, creating fluid flowing lines throughout the vase. And so, the result by design, is that every vase is different, with its own nuances – and in fact impossible to replicate. Once formed, we undertake a sophisticated finishing sequence that broadens the character of each piece, with patination creating the final step of distinctiveness.
Metal is often perceived as a hard, cold material that is complex to form. Whilst this can be true, we intentionally have created forms that celebrate the malleability of metal, pushing the metal to its limits in order to generate a flowing fluid form. The fluidity and complexity to the overall form of the vases creates completely unique unrepeatable pieces.
We'd love for you to explore the collection, either in-person at the CraftACT Gallery or online, via the catalogue or virtual tour.
Making: A Way of Life continues until 17 July
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturdays: 12pm - 4pm
Level 1, 180 London Circuit, Canberra ACT
Comments will be approved before showing up.