FORT WAYNE, IND. (WPTA21)-They’re about the most graceful works of art humans produce, formed from flat sheets of metal hammered and bent and coaxed into shape. To most of us how these metal sculptures are made is a mystery but there is a place to find out.
Artlink’s current exhibition boasts some of the finest metal work on the planet, from everyday household items to graceful forms found in nature. But this show is called ‘The Art of Metalsmithing Exposed’ and expose it does, by showing through photographs how each object was made start to finish. The real eye catcher here is this immense dragonfly made by Nebraska artist Warren Townsend, a truck mechanic by trade. Accompanying photographs show how he made it from initial sketch to forming the parts to final assembly. South Whitley metalsmith Steve Shelby curated this show. He says thinking up a project is easy. The hard part is figuring out how to make it. This is his piece, called ‘Golden Tree Shark’. And this amazing sterling silver tea pot is by Ohio artist Tom Muir. He worked out the design on a computer, cut out the pieces from sheets of silver and soldered them all together.
“Some people I think couldn’t care less how something is made,” says Shelby. “But then there’s other people inquisitive about that and I guess it’s just what kind of personality you have whether or not that does make a difference.”
This multi-piece work is called ‘Evolution of Joy’ showing each stage in the development of a fetus. All the pieces hammered by hand out of flat sheets of copper. Walking through this exhibition is an education in a subject few of us know much about. Learning the secrets of this artform is fun and satisfying but the final lesson is perhaps the most important. When you gaze at something this lovely, how it was made doesn’t seem to really matter. Eric Olson reporting out in 21 Country.