The earliest known cutting tools are more than ten times older than homo sapiens. They evolved into a rich universe of shapes that serve any number of purposes, from dicing onions to skewering enemies to symbolizing wealth and might. With the advent of standardized high-quality industrial cutlery, there is a resurging fascination with custom-made blades that equally span the gamut from the utilitarian to the precious.
Our print series is of rough, mostly hand-forged blades, ranging from weapons to household tools. We search out stark, primal forms for their visceral appeal and their more apparent connection to production and use. We photograph the blades on large format B&W film, which we then scan at high resolution and print digitally on matte rag paper. Through careful control of lighting, chemical, and digital processing, we create large, highly textural prints that are representational yet almost “lithographic” rather than “photographic” in appearance. By defying quick identification, the prints raise questions as to what they are and how they were made, much as the blades themselves raise these questions for us.
The prints allow the viewer to inspect surface qualities that are barely visible to the naked eye and to appreciate the blades’ pure shapes in isolation from any contextual distraction. By isolating and enlarging them, we do not seek to appropriate the objects as something they are not. Rather, we want to re-present as art what attracted us to them originally. We want our work to reflect the bladesmiths' skill at giving complex functional, material, and ceremonial demands a simple, beautiful, almost sculptural expression that has the power to transcend its historical and cultural context.
Print sizes range from 40" x 36" to 52" x 36".