In 2007, I began working almost exclusively in Damascene, an archaic technique developed for the inlaying of precious metals on arms and armour. The process lends itself well to the adornment of found objects, and since I had just moved from the city to the country at the time, farming tools became the perfect artistic vehicle for both my new technical skills and my changing ideas about rural life. All around me, in the organic and slow food movements, I saw a longing for “simpler” times. This nostalgia brought to mind the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement, another backward-looking movement which exalted the value of the handmade and its maker, but which in the end produced products only the rich could afford. By decorating reclaimed farm tools with silver and gold in patterns reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts, I am addressing a range of issues around agriculture and our relationship to farming methods past and present.
In July, I attended the opening of my first solo exhibition outside of Canada, at the Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The Museum is an impressive complex of heritage buildings centered around a beautiful sculpture garden on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi. The buildings house rotating exhibitions, a permanent collection, forge, foundry, and a residency. Thanks to everyone at the Museum who made me and my partner Damon feel so welcome during our stay there!