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Espresso Server
sterling silver, aluminum, acetal handle
11 ½” x 2 ¾” x 5", 2000
 
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This work’s central concept is “devised nature;” i.e., the blurring of boundaries between nature and the man-made, to produce forms which, while incorporating mechanical elements, seem animate and “natural.” These artworks expand and challenge our traditional views of nature versus human artifice. My vessels do not represent nature in a literal, superficial or decorative manner. They evoke the natural realm by incorporating organic forms in a structural rather than literal context – an egg-shaped form is not necessarily an egg, but invites meditation on that form’s diverse roles in nature, similar to figures generated from fractal series; yet, far from being abstract gestures, such references to natural forms are grounded in the specificity of my extensive knowledge of natural history. Regarding mechanisms, my work incorporates mechanical elements that are also grounded in a thorough knowledge, yet meld and overlap with natural forms – an egg-form might be an engine cowling, an integral hinge is as invisible as a skin-covered joint – so that the entire composition seems not merely animal-like, or machine-like, but a “devised nature” that blurs the boundaries between bodies of flesh and of metal.
tommuir@hughes.net