14.9.10

Hammering Hollow Ware

There are an infinite number of hammer marks on the copper bowl I am forming.  I feel so close to the metal, I feel like a piece of metal myself.  Like this little pretty copper bowl, every thing I am is a hammer mark that has pounded me into a shape (hopefully perfectly imperfect).


To form a vessel from a sheet of metal, the metal is first cut into a perfect circle.  I liken this to its' "given Identity".  The metal is nothing more or nothing less than it is; only copper cut into a circle.


The beginning...I have begun somewhere too, my self nothing more than a perfect (or imperfect) circle.


And, as I have found myself weak enough to be molded and strong enough to hold true to myself, the metal reacts the same.


I anneal (heat) the metal until it's supple enough to form, I hammer the metal until it's resistant and needs to be annealed again.  The annealing process feels like the moments in life where I have been thrown upside-down, sucker punched, left vulnerable, and come out all right, strong again.


The metal finds itself at the mercy of the artist's hammer.  Inevitably the metal becomes work hardened.  Hammers have less effect, the metal is hard and resistant to change.  The metal refuses to be affected by the hammer's blows and remains stubbornly only the shape that it is.


Work hardened, is how I feel when nothing can touch me.  I've been pounded on for so long that nothing can affect me.  I can't feel anything any longer, any hammer retreats with a violent ringing sound, leaving no mark.


Like the copper bowl I'm hammering, I have been annealed, work hardened, annealed, work hardened, again and again.


Some days, I want only to be a bowl.





Copper Bowl
by Ajax

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