Celebrating Nature: Sally Metcalf

A friend gave me a book of sculpture this morning which, at this point, I’ve only been able to page through in a cursory manner. The book is called Celebrating Nature: Craft & folk art. One of the featured artists, Sally Metcalf, caught my attention as I scanned the album. Metcalf’s sculpture titled Treasure Trove, featured in the book, is very similar to certain ideas that I’ve worked on recently.

This piece is, frankly, much more dynamic than anything I’ve attempted up to this point, and since I now have a kiln I’ve turned most of my attention away from wood and towards clay. My own wooden wall pieces lack the depth and movement of this freestanding work. The most significant similarity is the repetition of the “dots” which are apparently fabricated with “waxed linen, cotton, hand forged copper pins, copper washers” according to the description on her website. The pins, it seems, are actually what holds the work together. I’m fascinated by the thought of hand forged copper pins, assuming the artists forges these herself. This deeply tactile act in the process of creating a sculpture is something I can very much admire.

Even in my own ceramic sculptures I’ve often lined up objects pressed into the clay, most often semi-precious stones. I seem to use repetition in a lot of my own work. This is, in part, a tactic to draw attention to more organic forms or materials by creating contrast with a more geometric visual.

All of Metcalf’s work featured on her website combine wood and fiber. Other than Treasure Trove, I’m partial to a smaller work called Come In.

Adding: On the art marketing side of things, take note of the very professional photography on her website. This is the same look I was taught to strive for, although, frankly, it’s not always that easy to achieve. Her website gives credit to the “Jordan Schnitzner Museum of Art & Department of Art, University of Oregon” for the photography.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

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