Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Metal and Meaning

I scored a Spring of 1994 edition of Metalsmith magazine at the thrift store yesterday. Cost me a whopping 12 cents. ;) Fascinating to see how much magazines have changed in 16 years... I don't think of the 90s as old-fashioned, but this magazine looks positively archaic in its fonts, columns, and ads. Plus it actually has articles...loooong articles with lots of words in long connected paragraphs that are not broken up by call-out boxes or small pictures. How weird is that? People used to read!

Anyway. I want to learn more metalsmithing. I can't wait until I get my studio set up and can get busy ordering more tools. But for now I can read and daydream and ponder... feed the metal-muse, so to speak.

The first article, written by W. Scott Braznell, was about one Janet Payne Bowles. This quote caught my fancy:

"The universal and the eternal are my favorite and abiding subjects and I
am most conscious of a desire to express them in metal." Her intense interest in
the spiritual with regard to religious objects was made clear: "In the objects
for religious service, I have tried on the decorative side, to reverse the idea
of trans-substantiation, to turn a direct symbol back into the mystery of
spiritual underflow and express not history's symbol, but the emotion that
produces that symbol."

Now that, my friends, is a lofty artistic goal, right there. Far, far beyond my usual goal of "I want it to look both cool and groovy. I want people to enjoy wearing it...and be happy." And there's nothing wrong with that goal. But I find myself inspired by artists with more lofty and complex aims than mine. Besides.... that quote just sounds soooooo good. ;D

You can view many of the works of Janet Payne Bowles here.

1 comment:

  1. Huh? Words? A magazine containing fewer ads than words? Shocking! Aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to wear are about as lofty as I can handle.