My work draws inspiration from landscape and geometry, combined with an in-depth knowledge of 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) milling machines. I use these complex industrial devices as a craft tool to create one-off artefacts with intricate surface texture and patterns which take hundreds of hours to produce, subverting the intended purpose of the machine, which is to speed up product manufacture.
In my workshop I have direct access to various digital production tools, which has enabled me to develop a unique relationship with software and hardware without having to use subcontractors to fabricate my designs. By using this equipment on a daily basis I am in a unique position to understand the aesthetic possibilities of a wide range of software parameters and cutting tools from a craft person’s perspective. Together these factors offer me extremely fine control and a unique insight into the sensitivities of the machine allowing me to transform mathematical code into exciting and unpredictable metal objects.
My interest in applied surface pattern is drawn from more traditional processes such as engraving and other printmaking techniques. Using the machines precise control I can develop extremely complex layered combinations of marks unachievable by hand processes. These techniques allow me to create a diverse range of surface qualities that communicate the creative potential in utilising industrial manufacturing processes as a craft tool.
Born 1977, Renfrewshire
1998-2000 MA by project, Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery Royal College of Art, London,
1994-1998 BA (Hons) Design and Craft (First Class) Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen,
2008 Selected as a craft practitioner for the Past Present and Future Craft Practice research project,
2008 Short listed for National Metalwork Design Award,
2008 Selected for Jerwood Contemporary Makers,
2005 Short listed for National Collecting Scheme for Scotland,
2003 Contemporary Art Society, piece purchased for collection,
2000 Deutsche Bank, ‘Pyramid Award for Art’,
2009 ‘Silvermaker’, Contemporary Applied Arts, London May-June
2008-09 ‘Jerwood Contemporary Makers’, Jerwood Space, London, June - July 2008 Dovecot, Edinburgh.
2008 ‘National Metalwork Design Award’, Millennium Galleries, Sheffield.
2008 ‘Autonomatic’, Networks of Design, Falmouth Art Centre, Falmouth.
2008 ‘Treasury of Digital Form’, Galerie Handwerk, Munich, Germany,
2007 ‘Future Voices: Celebrating Diversity’, Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee.
2007 ‘Hello we are Autonomatic’, Metropolitan Works, London.
2006–08 ‘Interface’, UK Touring show organised by The Devon Guild of Craftsmen
2005-06 ‘Languages’, Think Tank: European touring show, various locations,
2006 ‘Salone Satellite’, Milan Furniture Fair, Milan, Italy.
2005 ‘David Watkins, 21 years of Innovation’, Contemporary Applied Arts, London.
2005 ‘Contemporary Art Society: Showcase’, Edinburgh City Art Gallery, Edinburgh, January
National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
The Herbert Museum and Gallery, Coventry
Objects from the Star Tessellation series with descriptive text on the importance of material is featured in Bramston, David, ’Material Thoughts’, AVA Academia, 2009
The ‘Terraincup’ project was selected as a case study demonstrating innovative use of the online map and spatial data collection provided by Digimap, 2007.
My Research projects are written about by design historian Lesley Jackson in ‘Autonomatic’, UCF research cluster publication, pp26-33, 2007.
Objects from the Star Tessellation series along with a short editorial were featured in Icon design magazine. Icon, Issue 047, May 2007 pp 41
- CAA Exhibitions