David M Bowman - Artist's Statement - January 2019
I have worked in metal since 1971, starting with silver jewelry and working my way up in size through belt buckles, candlesticks and vases to abstract wallpieces in patinaed brass. I am largely self-taught as a metalworker, learning from books, a few classes, and mostly from working on my own pieces in the studio.
In the early 1980s I developed my own idiosyncratic method of fabricating vases from heavy sheet brass. After a few years of building polished brass vases I began learning about sculptural patinas. I have spent the years since then experimenting with many patina recipes and combining them for different effects. Since discovering their potential, I have worked with patinas almost exclusively as the surface treatment for my work.
In 1990 I worked out a technique that allowed me to build wallpieces composed from many parts, to juxtapose many patinas next to one another. In the years since then my son, Reed, has worked with me and together we have refined the process considerably. We have sold over six hundred wallpieces, both through galleries and on commission, in the nearly thirty years we have been making them.
Reed and I have been exploring the technique of foldforming for the past decade. We started with designs for a whole range of jewelry, then he developed a beautiful foldformed vase. I have begun using the foldforming process to make what I call 'sketch pieces' as small wall art and now as vases as well. I call them sketches because they remind me of sketching abstract designs on paper: starting with some bold strokes and then working in more details and color until I finally have a finished piece.
My sense of form and composition comes from long and close study of natural forms, architecture from all periods, and the work of other contemporary and ancient artisans.
My work with wallpieces particularly reflects my interest in achieving balance in asymmetrical forms. I enjoy the challenge of working with our simple tools and limited palette of patinas and surface textures.
Education and Background:
- Born La Porte, Indiana
- Raised in southern Florida
- Attended Williams College in Massachussetts and
- University of Michigan - B.S. Aerospace Engineering 1969
- Studied jewelry making in a night school class in Ann Arbor.
- Moved to Berkeley, California 1975
Designs and images copyright © 1983-2019 David M Bowman & Reed C Bowman