My Sculpture Weblog: Sculptural Knife Bowl


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

If you’re unfamiliar with my earlier venture, The Sculptural Knife Vase, I extremely suggest you go to it because the premise for this sculpture stays related and I’ve written a tightly packed thesis for the entire venture 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 at all times extra to say, if in a barely totally different means.

The premise for my sharp artworks collection, merely put, is that machine-work is a medium that straddles a number 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. Many of the industrial trades which have since been turned to numerous arts mediums have distinct craft varieties that assist outline them.

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

The machinist panorama appears to lack ubiquitous varieties 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” is perhaps. Ought to machining ultimately discover higher standing as a sculptural medium, what varieties may come to outline it?

knife making and wood-turning have been entrance of thoughts for me lots currently. I comply with fairly just a few craftspeople inside these fields who display guide dexterity and ability, in addition to a thoughtfulness with supplies that I discover inspiring.

My appreciation for these makers has led me to consider that telling my story means telling their tales. To do that correctly, I reasoned direct appropriation wouldn’t suffice. If I have 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 conventional 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 numerous craft varieties in a means that performed off one another in an fascinating means and highlighted the distinctive prospects my medium brings to them.

It has led to this type 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 characterize the commonalities between numerous modes of object making.

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

Why Woodturning? 

Woodturning is a craft that the majority resembles facets of my very own course of. Apart from the truth that woodturning is most frequently carried out with hand guided instruments as an alternative 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 prompt kinship. They get my work immediately and the conversations shortly proceed to extremely technical and fascinating subjects. 

Probably the most frequent craft varieties inside woodturning is bowl making, and so it appeared a pure match for this venture. 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 area that mixes historic and trendy 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 expertise.

Knife making’s affect on the artistic tradition of machine-work is simple. It has a protracted ornamental arts custom that has solely grown with the adoption of digital fabrication expertise. 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 tough to strategy the craft straight via my work. My course of usually entails stripping away the utility from numerous design or craft ideas to raised reveal what’s aesthetically fascinating about them. Nevertheless it occurred to me that it isn’t essential to totally 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 may appear an odd technique to discover woodturning and knife making collectively, however as with the Sculptural Knife Vase (above), utilizing blades as sculptural components creates an fascinating distinction that elevates what would in any other case be utilitarian varieties into one thing to be appreciated aesthetically. It’s the easiest way I do know of to get individuals to cease and contemplate 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 collection, 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 ultimate piece on this saga, however little question these experiences will discover expression elsewhere in my work. 

Course of notes:

I’ve folded in most of the technical components I discovered over the previous couple of years. I spent the higher a part of final yr making sculptures with elements that have been turned from numerous 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 standard 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 just a few tasks and so I used to be spotty with the digicam for a bit. Above is what I used to be capable of seize. I hope it’s at the least partially illuminating (if incomplete).

As at all times, questions and feedback are welcome.