Victor Thomas Jacoby Award- Humboldt Area Foundation
I am so excited to say that I have been chosen as one of the recipients of the Victor Thomas Jacoby Award by the Humboldt Area Foundation. Following is part of my application.
I listen for the tone of the fire to drop when the metal is at a heat just below welding. The bar is white, glossy and almost dripping. Punch it, stretch it, twist it and meld it back into itself. If the alloy is old, smelted before 1920, the iron will split and tear showing the grain pattern of the faggoting and folding technique used to make it. Further heating and folding while changing the amounts of carbon and iron will create the beautiful pattern of Damascus steel. A sweet smell rises in the warm air as the metal turns from orange to red. The surface of scale peels and pops as it cools. There is a release of tension at a high heat that gathers itself back into a stiff and guarded solid when it falls below a thousand degrees. Cold steel is obstinate. Hot iron is soft and seductive. The iron and carbon are timeless.
Thousands of years ago humans began experimenting with carbon and iron. The ingenuity that has allowed us to turn a lump of iron into a skyscraper is the same resourcefulness and drive that is responsible for the rapidly expanding extinction of over a thousand other species, the over heating of the atmosphere and the acidification of the oceans. Humans are the most successful, ingenious and adaptive life form on the planet. Man, the tool maker. We evolved here. There is evidence of that. But there is also overwhelming evidence that we are doing irreparable damage here. The more we study ourselves and the world around us the more we learn how similar we are. Our DNA, the elements that make us, like carbon and iron, are common to every other thing in this universe. The only way forward is through a deeper understanding. I want to explore this.
I have done some experimenting with the vast possibilities offered by this medium in my architectural work but the exploration is always hampered by the needs of the job and client. If given this opportunity I will have the freedom to develop these ideas. I will be able to take the time to incorporate the amazing versatility of the material into art pieces that will speak to our complicit relationship with what is going on here.