Metalsmithing provides a rich tradition of process, material, and technique; producing a formal vocabulary that includes jewelry and body ornament, holloware, flatware, and non-functional objects. The technical processes used to create these forms offer a foundation for my work as I explore form and material through the use of sheet metal. It can be used in the traditional processes of fabrication and holloware; and can also be transformed through non-traditional processes from a solid, unyielding, material into something soft, rich in texture, even unrecognizable as metal. By utilizing a range of sheet thickness, I seek to develop contradicting forms.
There is something uniquely satisfying about fabricating out of sheet metal. The minimal, refined, and often industrial forms are usually anything but simple, yet appear to be just that. The planar surfaces and clean lines require skill and accuracy to execute. This precision is intrinsic to metalsmithing, and while some people find this restrictive and laborious, it motivates me to delve deeper into the process.
As sheet metal gets thinner, it loses its structure and stability. At some point it is no longer considered sheet, but becomes foil. It is so thin that it cannot be used to construct with because it can no longer support itself. The act of crushing the metal makes several things happen. It changes the associations we have with it; the metal is transformed into something that is no longer sheet or foil, but something else entirely. It also regains the structure it lost in becoming foil; the metal goes from strong, to weak, back to strong.
The contrast between the recognizable and transformed metal is where the interest lies; intuitive layers of foil contradicting concrete fabrications of sheet.
The structural change of the foil becomes significant as it shows the transformation from something weak to something strong. It is now a solid object, yet it continues to reveal its fragility through the crumpled layers and paper-thin edges.