The essence of movement in water is the main inspiration for my work. I feel that it is synonymous with love in all its physical and metaphorical representations. In water there is an endless, never repeating range of forms and patterns, each with its own unique and intricate beauty, giving me an infinite visual language with which to express my ideas.
Water makes up life – it flows throughout nature and is part of all living things. For me this also represents divine love, all-permeating and free-flowing among beings and the other boundless possibilities of life.
Among the questions that I ask myself in my work are: “What can I learn from nature?”, “What is the significance of nature’s perfection?” and “What resonance do I feel from it?”
These ideas manifest themselves in visual themes that relate to nature such as the waves, ripples and reflections found in water, layers of sedimentary rock, and the subtleties of texture and pattern found in wood grain, snowflakes and frost.
I record the ever-changing element of water and other natural elements and forms in drawings and photographs.
Rough sketches are transferred to the silver, informing the visual framework. The silver’s form then changes rapidly throughout the making process.
I find silver the ideal medium through which to express my
ideas as it is sensitive to heat, moisture, movement and emotion and is multi-dimensional just like water. Silver can be fluid to work with, reflects 98 per cent of light and can even look transparent – as such I see it as the perfect material for translating into various flowing shapes and forms. It allows me to imbue my work with a sensuous quality which can also communicate my message through touch. Both the tactile surface of worked silver and its light-reflecting properties enable me to express the subtlest nuances in the natural forms that inspire me.
I enjoy creating organic shapes in silver using embossing techniques such as chasing, repoussé and forming to coax the material into contours with a series of punches. I use wide nylon punches to bring about deep curves and fine steel tools to define specific areas.
I often enhance my silver forms with engraving, which allows me to introduce intricate detailing, drawing the viewer further into the piece. The polished steel engraving tool highlights the silver’s spectacular properties by projecting glints and shimmers across the finished area, often in contrast to the rest of the piece.
Through these specialist techniques I represent water – and its subtle yet powerful ability to shape the landscape – and other aspects of nature, interpreting these transformations and impressions by carving and peeling away fine layers of material.
Finished pieces of silver function in multiple ways, often as practical vessels or objects, but always I hope as works which are alluring to the viewer both visually and from a tactile point of view. Most of all I hope to encourage an emotional response and a connection, to evoke a sense of movement, of life force, of energy and to share the joy which I derive from the visual world around me.