Since I was at the Mindful of Silver exhibition in London I’ve been having a look at the work of Lucian Taylor. His work is featured in the exhibition along with a video of how the work is created. I found his work so interesting not only because of the amazing forms he creates but the process behind each piece. I can’t find the video on the internet so I’ll have to explain the process…sorry if I don’t do it justice.
He begins by creating the forms on a CAD program so he can work out the exact shape of the sections to create a sphere. This is then transferred onto the silver and cut out. The shapes are manipulated so it loses the precise aesthetic of the computer generated design. These sections are then shaped and TIG welded together. For those of you that want to know the TIG stands for Tungsten inert gas. It’s a type of welding most commonly used to weld thin sections of metal. They are welded together to form an accordion like shaped sphere. These are then expanded using hydroforming so the previous shriveled forms get transformed into bulbous silver spheres. They are inflated with high pressure water until a plump ripeness is achieved. The silver is pushed to its limits and I’m sure this process has suffered many casualties but it’s well worth the risk in my opinion.
In the Mindful of Silver exhibition he references 17th century Dutch art and his forms are influenced by these still life paintings. I love the finished pieces and knowning the process that created them. His use of industrial techniques along with traditional silver raising and forming techniques create these beautiful vessels. I also love the way the stems(where the water is pumped in) of the pieces remain on some of the work so you get a sense just by looking at them how they might be made. If you’re in London call to see them displayed along with the preparatory work in Goldsmiths Hall, the exhibition runs until the 26th July.