BEATRICE SCHLABOWSKY email@example.com
My work focuses on the benefits of both designing and manufacturing industry innovations, without compromising the originality and the integral nature of the resulting, hand made object. I have produced a suite of works using in part, contemporary manufacturing technologies which have influenced the nature and production of these objects within a silversmithing context. I have had an opportunity to explore how the utilitarian vessel might be reinterpreted when used as a vehicle for a narrative theme. Combined with these two aspects, I am also interested in ideas of how “placement” or the display context of an artifact/vessel/object; effect interpretation.
In an historical context, silversmithing was and still is largely regarded as a means of manufacturing functional domestic silverware. It was generally seen as a statement of wealth, refinement, and status. Sitting outside these conventions and cultural perceptions, I use silversmithing to make artefacts that reference to a variety of narratives, ideas of space, volume, the interior and exterior and what can be contained within – be that tangible or intangible. These are vessels for concepts, thoughts and in most cases, they also reference to holding a representation of water; with the use of glass as the solidified metaphor.
These vessels and objects that reference to water engage in the role of articulating a series of narratives or ideas, to notions of water; its use, its misuse and its growing scarcity. I wish to draw attention to the perceptions and relevance of global concerns about the management of water resources. The works I create, reference archetypal water forms and domestic ware within in a fine art context and I hope, engage the viewer in a visual dialogue and recognition of a ‘water story’ as a means of expressing my concerns about the management of water resources. While traditional silversmithing practices create some concerns regarding sustainability, my work investigates materials and processes that I can incorporate in my studio practice, which reflect an environmentally sound philosophy. This may be interpreted though recycling, re-using and limiting waste as well as using materials in a different way. My work is not centred on using a significant quantity of precious metals. Instead these works are sprung from aluminium, nickel alloys, titanium and stainless steel in most cases.
By utilizing Rhinoceros software as a means of exploring material and manufacturing options, as well as to assist in the object making process I am allowed flexible and varied outcomes. In my current work I am particularly interested in a process known as chemical milling. This process allows an extremely fine detailed application in making the metal components of the objects I manufacture/construct/create.
I am also interested in investigating new ways to incorporate a seamlessness of “joining” in how I construct my objects imbuing a sense of “invisibility of hand”. My work aims to be made in a clean, mechanical looking way where the hand print or crafted nature is invisible, yet, permeates as a fine detail to the work’s overall presence.
Studio methodology and related materials involved in making the work are relevant to creating a credible visual statement.
Traditionally the precious nature of silverware has meant that public display usually takes place in the secure conditions of a showcase. In the context of an exhibition I enjoy exploring ways of presenting a series of artefacts that will engage audiences in a gallery setting. I also enjoy investigating ways of placing silversmithing artefacts in a more accessible manner within a space, contributing to a closer and renewed engagement with silversmithing processes and how these vessels contain my technical and artistic focus and ideas on the issues of space and water.