Wednesday, 17 October 2012

“What can hot forging offer that nothing else can?”

I had a tutorial on Tuesday that got me thinking, I guess that’s what there meant to do. It wasn’t so much about my current brief but more about my making style. The question was “What can hot forging offer that nothing else can?” My answer, well I answered as best as possible but, I don’t really have an answer yet and neither did my tutor.

I understand that Hot forging processes are sort after in the industry to give steel certain properties. These properties can only be imbued into the steel by using heat and force/ impact. Some types of forging can give very particular aesthetic qualities. These qualities are sort after and utilized by smith to create a desired finish or form allowing them to convey ideas through a style. On a very personal scale a smith gains a unique bond to his work as it is very labour intensive.

So I have decided to look at other blacksmiths and their work. I haven’t really done this yet and I guess that this is a little naughty. But I was surprised that I found lots of smith that make work that I really like. They seem to be translating ideas that I also have about forging in their pieces showing form, forge style and qualities that I would like to express in my work.

Work by Albert Paley, Chaudio Bottero and Tim Cisneros don’t really do anything for me for the most part any way. I don’t like busy cluttered things any way so some of these guys work really does me in. For me these pieces seem to be based heavily on speed and rapid process.

On the other hand work by people like Richard Weaver, Matt Haugh, Greg Gehner and Roberto Giordani really get me going. The simple uses of form, making the most of both negative and positive spaces. They use a series of well made interlinking components that really have a feel of time, effort and contemplation. They produce piece that consist only of what is needed nothing more or less. They also seem to consider what the metal can do rather than just how it looks.

Richard Weaver

Matt Haugh

Greg Gehner

Roberto Giordani

Saturday, 13 October 2012

There is no such word as can't.

So I haven't been blogging much over the summer but the new term is here and I’m going to try and blog at least once a week. At the later part of the year and over the summer I have really narrowed down a style now and I’m quite keen to apply it to my work and the new modules. I produce several pieces for the HE sample wall in the last couple of week of term last year and they have really got me thinking. So for quite a large part of the summer in my own time I looked at how I am and what makes me tick.

I have been looking at some of HR Giger's work for the film pieces to his more sculptural work. I really enjoy both the dark sexual imagery but also their modern and influential design. As part of this I have been looking at the films that he has made concept art for and drawing ideas from these films like Alien and the newly realised Prometheus.

I have also been exploring Art deco design and using images from the period along with the ideas of Giger to produce some shapes and forms that I then apply to idea. I really enjoy The stuff that came out of the early 1900's. I think something change in the ideas of design and what design is. Aesthetics idea’s where still important but so was progression. The idea of make materials work at their limits forcing ideas to work opposed to saying the only way is this way. The stat of the century was more we can rather than we cannot.

I also decided that I was going to try and narrow down what it was I intend to do. Who I am and what I’m trying to do. So what did I realise and what am I doing?

I’m not a blacksmith I am an engineer. As an engineer I use processes and materials to overcome a problem. Some times multiple processes are required and combinations of materials. This is no different from the plant we all share. We are not singular forms we all depend on each other and everything around use. We all share a unique link to everything on this planet from the Moon in the sky to the trees on the ground.

We are nothing without everything.