Tuesday, January 17, 2012
david clarke: modified teapots
british silversmith david clarke is known for his unconventional approach to metalwork.
he engages with and exposes 'the rawness of silver' in pieces that reappropriate the decorative
functionality of ordinary objects, to the extent of experimenting with techniques such as the use
of salt and lead to chemically burn away at silverware.
clarke juxtaposes the old and the new and playful and refined in a recent series of modified teapots
on exhibition by ornamentum gallery during miami design week 2011.
retaining the raw quality of certain solders and additions, clarke splits and recombines silver teapot pieces,
at times transforming them into the suggestion of other objects-- a woman, wood stove;
at times giving them voice with an almost animated spirit; at times experimenting solely with
the material aspects of patina, weight, and texture. he combines almost all with lead,
juxtaposing the poisonous, unappreciated material with the valued one of silver, challenging the notions
of status and intention. 'it's a journey through objects', clarke reflects of his design process.
all the original teapots are purchased from ebay, where clarke notes: 'I only bid on the most unwanted,
most unloved; the ones closest to the [garbage] bin. I only buy the one that no one desires.
I want to give them a new start in life, a second chance. they come to me; I study them, handle them;
I cut them almost surgically, with precision, accuracy, and focus. at this point they are released from
their history; they are free to start afresh.'