The Forge

All human beings furnish their lives with manufactured goods. To my mind the best life is one furnished with things made by hand. There is honesty in the work of a person's hands not found in the products of mass production. If the work is approached with sensitivity, a connection can be formed through it, one human being to another. Through that connection even simple things can transcend the mundane to become art. 

The medium I choose is metal. All of my adult life has been spent exploring the working of metal. It is a fascination with the material that drives me. Metal can be as brittle as glass, moldable as clay, or as fluid as water. Most metals may be worked with the same tools and approaches, yet each metal has it's own character. There is always something new to learn and there is the possibility, given luck, that the completed work may endure for centuries. I've always been drawn by that idea of permanence, even knowing that in most cases it is an illusion. I have held in my hands metal objects made over three thousand years ago. The vocabulary has not changed from that time to present. The conversation spans the centuries, unhindered by politics, religion, or nation states. One person's voice, waiting to speak to anyone who comes along. In my mind that is the nature of art. It is the foundation on which I base my own work. Comments on simple things, made through my hands, my mind, and my heart. 

Jim Cooper