David Huycke

Process (photo via http://www.davidhuycke.com/)

I recently began to experiment with granulation; an ancient technique used by goldsmiths some 5000 years ago in Etruria (now part of Italy) and Greece. You’ve probably seen examples of granulation – tiny gold or silver beads adhered to a gold or silver surface in a myriad of patterns and shapes…

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I have to admit I started my attempt believing it would be an easy technique to master; melt a few silver balls, slap them onto a piece of sheet silver and add heat. It didn’t go quite to plan though; tiny balls flew from the torch flame while others refused to set down. And as with all things slightly difficult I decided this ancient technique takes patience and skill. And when I came across the work of David Huycke I decided to put my exploration into granules on hold. Let’s face it, maybe I should just put all my smithing on hold and go curl up in a corner 😱.

Huycke’s CV is long and filled with amazing achievements. He obtained his MFA in Antwerpen (1989) and a PhD in Arts at Leuven (2010). From his website

He first made a name for himself with his sets of dishes, simple design and subtle use of materials and is now best known for his innovative approach to the traditional technique of granulation. David Huycke sets to work like a scientist or an alchemist, casting in moulds non-existent and seemingly impossible concepts, incurring along the way risks such as breakage or collapse. Eventually those ideas and experiments are selected and elaborated into an object where they exude a degree of stillness and have a natural obviousness, as if the work could not have been made any other way’. Check out his woooork…

       

Cirkelrond 7, 1996. Silver, 8cm x ⍉30.5cm

Fractal Chaos, 2013, Stainless Steel, 22cm x 22cm x 22cm

Fractal Piece, 2007. Silver, 15cm x ⍉16cm

Ovalinder 2, 2011. silver, 17cm x ⍉10/13cm

Marble Bowl, 2006. Silver, 16cm x ⍉16.5cm