Sunday, 9 November 2008

MAKER OF THE WEEK - Edward James Mahony

Edward James Mahony; EJM

The pieces of work I make are often made without a function in mind; they are created to portray feelings or intentions using a combination of traditional silversmithing techniques with a modern approach. Steel is used regularly as it compliments the silver with its conflicting qualities. 

What place in the world has inspired you?
Amsterdam is a beautiful place, uncluttered spacious buildings, canals and museums; the British countryside can’t be beaten though.

Do you work best on your own or in collaboration?
It is good to work with other people for the feedback and critical thinking. As other people will always see things in a different way from your self.

What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased? What one product/item do you really covet?
Kelly Davitt is a painter whose work has so much depth and character, really wish I could afford it.
I always try and exchange pieces of work with other makers at craft fairs; it makes the event more memorable and precious.

At age 15 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
I was very lucky; I went to a Rudolf Steiner school and was greatly encouraged to create. I took needlework, surface design and metal work lessons. My metal work teacher, Mr. Chalk, arranged a day session of silversmithing at, what was, Kent Institute of Art & Design. I then stayed there for the next five years studying silversmithing and design.

Last best read?
A.S.Neil, Summer Hill, a truly inspirational insight into live and that of our children.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace?
I don’t, I work hard to be able to make what I want. Any one can make a piece of work that looks beautiful. I teach jewellery and silversmithing to a range of people all of who can walk away, or wheel themselves away, having made an item of jewellery. Not many create a piece that comes from within or expresses a worth other than functional or material.

Who would you say buys your work?
People with money who like something a little different and appreciates craft.

How do you set about starting a new project?
I find it very hard to start new work; I spend months thinking about pieces to be made. For me the thinking behind the work is as important as the piece itself.

Where and what is your studio
I have a workshop at home in our cellar, see above, where I am able to make most of my work. For larger, louder pieces I use the workshops at work in between teaching sessions.

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Everybody has a role to play in life, some people are good at managing and statistics, others are able to build a staircases and furniture. Both are needed and are as important.

Are their other fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into?
One of my teaching positions, is teaching people with physical disabilities, people who has lost their sight, limbs, hearing, have me, ms etc. Helping them to create work to lift their confidence and self-belief is an amazing experience. It shows how important making and creating is to a person, as it gives back some worth that might have been lost. It would be productive to do this across the board within many different areas of society.

No comments: