Lacey - Holding Place

Materials: cast iron
Dimensions: 13.5" x 7.5"

Lacey was the first vessel created by the artist in an experimental no core, hollow casting process.

Photo credit: Chris Bauer

Kelly R Ludeking
KRL metals
Decorah, Iowa. USA

The Caste of Cast
An Artist Statement for
Kelly Ludeking

Cast ironmongers dance about me. They are rabid for fire to melt the metal that makes manifest their sickness. A village of graphite war painted artists - silver suits buttoned up to protect them from fire fleshing in travel far and wide to spy the orange heat of liquid iron. They have gathered to honor the call of belonging. The voice of Hephaistos summons them to bless their fire-making and metal-transforming ritual. To deny the query from this god is to forsake their true inheritance. Molds of every shape and size await the molten metal to fill their voids. The fire god smiles when sublime liquid iron is released from the furnace repurposed into something beautiful, useful, permanent. We stay - I stay - until the furnace trembles. Cast ironmongers dance about me. Alone in their iron tribe. Together in their aloneness. The temple of their creative soulness.

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.