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Please Do Not Touch The Artwork
honey locust, sycamore, copper
18” x 18” x 36”, 2004
 
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The intimate knowledge of natural history and practical forestry supports my visible vocabulary; this symbiosis is vital to my artistic practice. This vessel stems from venerable craft traditions of metalsmithing, woodworking and textiles, establishing a link to long traditions of household use and ornament. While the vessel, generally speaking, is a metaphor for the body and life -- the emphasis of the vessel is on the interior and speaks of containment, shelter, and nourishment -- in this particular case, an ironic tension exists between the ordinarily inviting domestic object, the teapot, and its intimidating thorny structure. Yet insect egg cases are visible in the structure of this teapot, reminding us that the thorny honey-locust tree protects the birds and insects in its limbs. Thus, through the evocation of a familiar domestic image, we are brought to recognize that nature is a home for all creatures, and to reflect on the limitations of the human perspective as well as its special insights.
tommuir@hughes.net