Why Metal?

Why Metal? Why not some other material?

Building a Clay Pot courtesy of apium

I’ve worked in clay, fibers, wood (briefly), painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, metal, and plastic.  In ceramics I was cursed with air pockets.  I liked working with clay, but blowing up in the kiln happened too frequently.  My teacher even pounded the clay herself, divided it in two and we both through pots, but only mine had air pockets in it.  We both knew it was a curse.

I enjoyed drawing and watercolor painting in high school, but realized once I entered art school that I wasn’t cut out for it.  I have enjoyed revisiting these mediums during the last two AEDM challenges, but it just doesn’t speak to me as it once did.  Photography was kind of the same thing, though I almost minored in it along with my metals major.  My landscapes didn’t really mesh with the 90s art photography mindset and I turned it into a hobby rather than a passion.

Weaving on Loom courtesy of Jilligan86

Fibers is another story.  I took a weaving class my last semester in college and I loved it.  I particularly loved tapestry and wove a small Navajo-style rug for my final project.  This is something that had I taken the class my sophomore year I might have pursued it further.  I did get a second hand LeClerk loom, but I haven’t used it recently.

What really clinched it for me was how metal spoke to me.  I love the feel, the smell, the working with my hands.  I ike how it moves, connects, its strength.  I think in metal.  This is the only material I’ve worked with where I had a shakabuku moment*, where I knew that this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  That is why I work in metal.

Why do you do what you do?
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* don’t know what a “Shakabuku moment” is? Watch Grosse Point Blank and thank me later.

2 thoughts on “Why Metal?

  1. Hi Wendy,
    I found your web page jumping around on the internet and I love it. I am a 44 year old women who went back to school to become a school teacher. I decided to take a metal class for fun and I love it. This is my 2nd semester and have recently realized that I think I found my passion. I am taking a year to figure out what exactly what I want to do and pursue. I took a 2nd semester of metal smithing and taking a third this next semester. I find that as I work more and more with it I love it. I find myself surfing the internet looking for artist in the field and reading up on them, for any ideas to help me with my work. I guess you can call it research. I am not sure that I would ever be able to making a living from it but I do love it. Because of finances it’s hard to really dig in but it is being coming a passion of mine. So I guess you can say the metal does speak to me and I am looking forward to learning so much more.


  2. Hi Wendy,

    Well, you know that I work in both glass and metal. I tried my hand at painting, charcoals, ink, watercolor, but glass is what grabbed me initially and I became passionate about it. Then this past year I met Lexi Erickson, took her workshop, and she truly changed my life forever. There is something about metal. I don’t know that I can pinpoint it just yet, but I find I am drawn to it as much as glass. Probably seems a bit odd considering how different they are. Yet, I would hate to have to choose between them. I enjoy working with both and they tend to feed off of each other for me….working on glass I think of a metal design and vice versa. Right now I’m enjoying the creative moments in both.


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