Michael Carberry

Relics to a bygone industrial age

The opportunity to sit and think is a vital part of the creative process and gives a chance for the development of new ideas.  However, all too often, our busy lives make this an almost impossibility.

When a residency at Cove Park became available, I jumped at the opportunity and packed up my job. During these six weeks, I spent as much time thinking about what I was going to do as well as what I was going to do on my return. 

The key changes to my work are as follows, with the most obvious one being scale.  Precious metals have been substituted by steel, and hot forging using a power hammer has replaced hand tools. All of my metalwork has been made from single cylindrical blocks of metal, where nothing has been added or attached - everything evolves through the processes of cutting, shaping and forging.  This includes the colouration and the surface textures that can be seen, which alter depending on the temperatures reached and what type of furnace has been used.

The pieces are often subjected to extreme heat and force, and it is these elements which help persuade the material to move and find the weakest point.   The hand, the eye and the material determine the extent to which this is allowed to happen.  The ever present element of risk has a part to play in this intuitive approach to work, which means that pieces could just as easily be destroyed as created. 




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