This work gives homage to the service imbued in objects, both in the making of a thing, and the history of serving. Scale change removes the function of the object rather bluntly to a sculptural scale in the classical sense, bringing the object close to a human size to imply the weight and importance of a thing such as a ladle.
Photo credit: Raymond Ewing
John William Huckins
New Paltz, New York. USA
John Huckins is a Maine based artist who uses the techniques and materials ?of metalsmithing to make his work. Huckins grew up in rural New Hampshire,? moving to Portland, Maine where he received a BFA in Metalsmithing and ?Jewelry from Maine College of Art. Currently Huckins is working toward his MFA degree at SUNY New Paltz. Much of the energy and attitude of Huckins’ work and temperament stems from his dedication to Craft. His work is inspired by objects from his past. Through his interest in craft and metalsmithing, Huckins makes work that honors the history of lineage and the practice of metalsmithing tactically and with a sensitivity to these histories he passionately aligns himself with.
These containers and vessels definitely hold their place in the world of stunning art objects as well as in the world of metalsmithing.
Since the dawn of time humans have created containers to hold things that were important to them, from large vessels to hold food and harvests to intimate containers for small precious things. They might hold memories, ashes, medicine, beverage, fruit or food - but all spring from the imagination and skill of the maker. Some have specific religious functions, some are meant for everyday use. When one thinks of a vessel or container the inclination is to think of something with solid walls - yet many of these works involve the exploration of positive and negative space, and the use of negative space to help create the illusion of the wall of the vessel.
As the world’s largest jewelry related internet site, Ganoksin strives to develop exhibitions showcasing work from around the world. This exhibition was open to all metalsmiths, professional and amateur, advanced and beginner. Participants are from The Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Colombia, Romania, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark. While most of the pieces are by an individual metalsmith, some are collaborations, one of three artists spanning 50 years.
In total 319 artists contributed 729 show pieces for the permanent online exhibition.
Objects in the exhibition include boxes, lockets, urns, ash containers, bowls, wine cups, reliquaries, match holders, vases, teapots, pitchers, sugar bowls, baskets, nests, pillboxes, clutches and a range of sculptural forms. A variety of techniques are showcased covering a wide range of metalsmithing techniques. Materials used include everything from gold and silver to less expensive metals. Ornamentation includes the addition of enamel, chasing and repousse’, gemstones and found objects.
The exhibition was curated by Beth Wicker, President of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths in the United States, and Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina. Director of the exhibition is Hanuman Aspler, founder of The Ganoksin Project, the world’s largest internet jewelry site.