My Sculpture Weblog: Sculptural Knife Bowl


Introducing the following installment in my “Sharp Arts” sequence, The “Sculptural Knife Bowl”. It’s a piece that mixes components of knife making and wooden turning (and sure an enormous chunk of iron-nickel meteorite) into an object that’s way more sculptural than it’s purposeful.

If you’re unfamiliar with my earlier mission, The Sculptural Knife Vase, I extremely advocate you go to it because the premise for this sculpture stays comparable and I’ve written a tightly packed thesis for the entire mission on that web page.

However even when you don’t return, I’ll journey to flesh this out some right here as effectively, there may be all the time extra to say, if in a barely totally different means.

The premise for my sharp artworks sequence, merely put, is that machine-work is a medium that straddles plenty of worlds throughout the industrial and ornamental arts. To correctly perceive machine-work as a sculptural medium, one must foster an appreciation for the way in which it intersects the fields of glass artwork, woodturning, ceramics and the opposite steel trades. A lot of the industrial trades which have since been turned to varied arts mediums have distinct craft types that assist outline them.

These craft-forms are of curiosity to me as a result of whereas machining is a craft that shares an identical industrial previous, there are few signature types one can level to that uniquely consultant it as a medium.

The machinist panorama appears to lack ubiquitous types that fall neatly into the paradigm of craft and craft-form.

Due to this absence of distinctive craft-forms throughout the world of machined steel, I’ve spent appreciable time exploring what a “machined craft-form” could be. Ought to machining ultimately discover higher standing as a sculptural medium, what types may come to outline it?

knife making and wood-turning have been entrance of thoughts for me quite a bit currently. I observe fairly a couple of craftspeople inside these fields who exhibit guide dexterity and talent, in addition to a thoughtfulness with supplies that I discover inspiring.

My appreciation for these makers has led me to imagine that telling my story means telling their tales. To do that correctly, I reasoned direct appropriation wouldn’t suffice. If I had been to easily flip a bowl, then it wouldn’t be a commentary on woodturning, it might merely be an occasion of that vocation. Likewise, making a standard knife wouldn’t be recognizable as something apart from an train in knife making as effectively.

I felt the easiest way to do a correct appreciation that creates a chance for dialogue was to mix varied craft types in a means that performed off one another in an attention-grabbing means and highlighted the distinctive potentialities my medium brings to them.

It has led to this sort of mash-up, the place components from a number of disciplines are mixed to make objects which might be wholly impractical, deliberately extra sculptural than purposeful, however signify the commonalities between varied modes of object making.

That is my second try with this line of pondering and the result’s the Sculptural Knife Bowl.

Why Woodturning? 

Woodturning is a craft that the majority resembles points of my very own course of. Other than the truth that woodturning is most frequently carried out with hand guided instruments as a substitute of constrained by guide or automated machine movement, turning wooden and turning steel have a lot in frequent.

Once I meet woodturners there may be instantaneous kinship. They get my work immediately and the conversations shortly proceed to extremely technical and attention-grabbing matters. 

Probably the most frequent craft types inside woodturning is bowl making, and so it appeared a pure match for this mission. Typically it is so simple as that.

Why knife making?

I’ve already written extensively about this over on the Sculptural Knife Vase submit so I’ll simply pull some quotes from there. 

Knife making is a self-discipline that completely captures the dichotomy between historic and up to date industrial processes. It’s a subject that mixes historic and fashionable strategies and is that uncommon craft that maintains working “first hand data” of practically each technological step of its lengthy historical past.

Whereas its historic traditions are alive and effectively, the world of knife making has additionally been fully reworked by the adoption of contemporary machine instruments and new know-how.

Knife making’s affect on the artistic tradition of machine-work is simple. It has an extended ornamental arts custom that has solely grown with the adoption of digital fabrication know-how. As a steel sculptor who’s concerned within the methods the method can inform the aesthetic components of a craft, knife making is past fascinating to me.

I discovered it troublesome to strategy the craft straight via my work. My course of sometimes includes stripping away the utility from varied design or craft ideas to higher reveal what’s aesthetically attention-grabbing about them. Nevertheless it occurred to me that it isn’t mandatory to completely strip the utility from a knife to understand its inherent aesthetic qualities; one can merely put these qualities into a novel context.

The knife bowl?

Creating a definite and impractical Bowl might sound an odd option to discover woodturning and knife making collectively, however as with the Sculptural Knife Vase (above), utilizing blades as sculptural components creates an attention-grabbing distinction that elevates what would in any other case be utilitarian types into one thing to be appreciated aesthetically. It’s the easiest way I do know of to get individuals to cease and think about what the ornamental arts have given to the artistic arts and vice versa.

I’m dedicated to periodically visiting this tangent in my work as time permits. Once I sketched out a plan for this sequence, I made three designs, two of which I’ve now made.

Time will inform whether or not or not I get round to the third and remaining piece on this saga, however little question these experiences will discover expression elsewhere in my work. 

Course of notes:

I’ve folded in lots of the technical components I realized over the previous couple of years. I spent the higher a part of final yr making sculptures with elements that had been turned from varied unique hardwoods. My strategy to the blades was additionally closely knowledgeable by my earlier work.

The physique of the bowl is turned in Desert Ironwood, which is definitely a typical knife making materials, however not one you usually discover in a wooden turning studio. Likewise, I could not resist the urge to incorporate a big piece of machined iron nickel meteorite (a really unique knife making materials with historic roots) as the focus for the underside of the bowl.

(See right here for extra particulars on using meteorite in knife making)

I documented some, however not all, of my work on this one. I used to be juggling a couple of tasks and so I used to be spotty with the digicam for a bit. Above is what I used to be in a position to seize. I hope it’s at the least partially illuminating (if incomplete).

As all the time, questions and feedback are welcome.