Heavy Metals


by Susan Grisanti Kelley

Continuing our Craft of Maine series dedicated to functional art, this month we focus on the art of metalworking. Using a range of metal types—from pewter to sterling silver to steel—the artists on the following pages have struck a graceful balance between tools and nature, between function and beauty. For more pieces by these artists visit our web-exclusive content at mainehomedesign.com.


Curtis LaFollette Tea Kettle, 1990, copper polychrome masonite, 9” x 9” x 9”

“My current body of work began in 1989 when I deconstructed the teapot. This was an overt response to my dissatisfaction with the traditional restraints imposed on
functional objects. The resultant evolution of my work transcends the 20th century’s craft paradigm. It does not negate the requirement that utilitarian objects must function.”



Ann Thompson Asparagus fork, 2003, carved jade, natural stone, and sterling silver, roll-printed, 6” x .75” x .75”,

“Aesthetically, I have always been equally attracted to both forms in nature and well-designed tools and machinery. In creating a synthesis between the natural and fabricated forms I am trying to balance both, without mimicry, into a cohesive whole.”



Jeffrey Clancy Ornamentalware #5, 2008, pewter and base metal, 17” x 7” x 5” (right).

“My interest in these objects is constructed from my conceptual and historical understanding of metalsmithing and the related objects as a subject of study, my mechanical abilities within the craft as a way of creating, joined with my desire to contribute, invent, and move forward within the language and lineage of the craft.”





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