PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
I am a New Orleans based metalsmith with a BFA from the University of Kansas. I am a member of SNAG, Crafthaus, and the New Orleans Arts Council with work currently on display at the Highwater Gallery in Uptown New Orleans. I work at Symmetry Jewelers in uptown New Orleans, doing logistics, customer service and CAD jewelery design. I draw a lot of inspiration for my work from modern technology and from the Victorian aesthetic of highly embellished personal adornment. I work from my home studio behind my house in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans where I live with my girlfriend, a cat, two dogs and an abundance of local lizards and birds. I enjoy living in a city that is so old and full of character and culture. I love the outdoors and cherish natural sanctuaries like the wetlands and Bayou that surround the city. I work almost exclusively in Brass, Copper, and Sterling Silver, but I also excel at incorporating found objects into my work. I have had a lifelong affinity for clockworks and engines. I know little of how they work, but I marvel at the precision that is required to make them function flawlessly. I strive to achieve that level of precision in the pieces I make. My goal as an artist is to make work that is beautiful as well as entertaining. I want patrons of my work to feel that they not only have a fine piece of jewelry or sculpture, but also a fun story to tell or treasure to brag about at their next party. I love people. Not only for the unbelievable amount of diversity that one species has attained but for the sheer potential that exists in the human spirit. There is nothing that we as a people cannot overcome when we work together, and it seems to me that things only go wrong when we forget that.
My work centers around the Steampunk aesthetic. Steampunk is a genre of Science Fiction that envisions a world in which steam power remained the dominant form of energy in the world throughout the Victorian era of British history corresponding with the rise of the Wild West Era of United States history and crossing into the 20th century and beyond. All modern technology and all technology in the future is somehow linked to steam power. Likewises elements from the mid to late 1800's have spread throughout every element of culture: Literature, Music, Art (of all mediums), Fashion and so on.
Whenever I begin to make something,I try to think about what I would like to see happen in a world I don’t live in. Our world as we perceive it is common place. Most people take little time to appreciate the simple appeal of objects in their lives. Most of the technology that we have grown up with has become so comfortable in our hands that we stop appreciating the character of the item. Technology is our greatest strength and our Achilles heel. We quickly and easily adopt new technologies however we often choose to focus on superficial technology like music players or cell phones. These devices evolve at a much quicker pace than advances in genetic research or nuclear energy. It’s those kinds of interactions that make launch pads for pieces of work. I like to make objects that are entertaining to the inner child while still being based in the adult world, Objects that could exist now or could never exist anywhere. Above all I try to create pieces that form an intimate connection with human beings. Since we are the object makers and we are the dreamers of dreams, anything that I make should benefit humans in some conceptual way. We define our reality and we define our fantasy, I like to blur the line and see what comes out. This allows me to enjoy not only the finished product but the entire process from start to finish
I am a self styled Steampunk. The beauty of Steampunk design is that all practitioners are self styled. It allows people an avenue to express themselves directly. With Wardrobe, accessory and gadgetry choices, a person quite literally builds their persona. In a much more literal form than most other genres of design which will be elaborated on in great detail throughout my time here. Stay tuned true believers and new comers alike, for more tales of the amazing steampunks!
One universal aspect of the Steampunk genre is the ownership and embellishment of equipment and more specifically a primary weapon. This weapon can range from a sword to a pistol, long rifle, battleaxe or any combination of ranged and melee weapons to further develop the character that each person takes on. Not only are the weapons chosen based on innate appeal but are then further embellished by the owner to suit their own style. …Continue
A staple of the steampunk universe is the Airship. Dirigibles as they are commonly called (from the French (diriger to direct plus -ible), meaning "directable" or steerable) are blimps with open ship-like bases or enclosed Gondolas to hold passengers and/or cargo, and are directed by rudders and propellers, jet engines or even…Continue
Steampunk art evokes an alternate reality where steam is the primary source of power. Technology, though highly advanced, has taken on a very different look and feel, and fashion is heavily influenced by Victorian styles. In this episode, we explore the Steampunk aesthetic and art movement. We speak with a Steampunk artist, a composer who created an entire piece of music inspired by Steampunk, and a performing arts collective whose work falls naturally into this intriguing world.…Continue
As an artist, I try to always maintain the element of fun that drew me to metalwork and Steampunk metalwork specifically. In that spirit I began work on a series of Pop Art sculptures centering around an iconic image from my childhood. As a child of the 80’s and the cousin, sibling and friend of many girls; I have many memories of being forced to play ponies with my various family members. Not exactly the favorite game for me when I was younger but a vivid memory nonetheless. I have been…Continue
Steampunk fashionistas!Fashion plays a huge role in the steampunk world. More than any other art form is used to express the personality of the practitioner. This aspect of the genre offers the most freedom for personal expression. Ranging from conservative, traditional Victorian style attire to full blown Sci Fi human augmentation. The body quite literally becomes the canvas and people build or sculpt a persona.…Continue
This is the piece that started it all! The origins of Reaction Designs and my love of Steampunk metalwork. This is an entirely hand fabricated personal nuclear reactor! This piece was designed as the endgame for all steampunk technology. As you may know nuclear power is made by creating enormous amounts of heat through fusion or fission which then generates steam and the steam powers turbines to create energy. My thought was: "if only that could be harnessed to power a human being! Are you sick…Continue