Gordon K. Uyehara is a fabulous artist working in metal clay. He teaches, creates, interacts with the metal-clay community online, and inspires with his beautiful, elegant designs. He is the author of Metal Clay Fusion: Diverse Clays, Detailed Techniques, Artful Projects. Learn more about Gordon at his website www.honudream.com.
There was just something about it that set my imagination off. I could spend hours working with it and then when I wasn’t, my mind was still engaged to the point of obsession.
How do you describe your work and your aesthetic sensibility?
I’d describe my work as organic and nature-inspired, with sculpted features, in restrained refinement.
Artistically, it’s an ongoing process about observing the world around you and learning how to express yourself in every aspect of living.
What are your hopes for the book Metal Clay Fusion? What do you want your readers to receive in practical and artistic terms?
I would like the book to inspire as many people as possible. I hope readers will try different techniques and that the book will help them discover their own artistic voice. And I always hope artists are thoughtful as they create.
What most impresses you about how metal clay is maturing as a medium today? And in which areas do you think growth is still most obviously needed?
I think the amount of experimentation people are willing to undertake is impressive.
Growth is needed in all areas. Having said that, it is proceeding just fine, under its own momentum.
I’m not going to make you name your favorite metal clay artists, but would you name a few who you think are doing exciting new things, and say what it is about each that you find exceptional?
There are a lot of artists doing terrific work. As far as exciting new things, a few people come to mind:
Wanaree Tanner: youthful exuberance with a willingness to experiment, coupled with a keen aesthetic sense and natural talent
Hadar Jacobson: tireless innovator with super accessible projects
Samantha Braund: wild and beautiful shell-scapes (as they look to me) combined with wire-wrapping and stone setting
Lisa Lynn Barth: outstanding metal clay and leatherwork/knotting combinations
Speak to someone who has worked with other materials but not with metal clay: Please explain what you find most appealing about the medium.
I like that it is pliable and picks up deep texture effortlessly. Plus, it is easily sculpted. The entire transformative process is fun. It can be used in a myriad of ways.
Do you feel a community has developed in metal clay, with artists really knowing one another and the work intimately, offering ideas, feedback, and support? Or is that still nascent?
There is definitely a real community where ideas are shared freely. But it is also still very young. So it is both.
What do you do for fun, Gordon? And what are a few things that might surprise people about you?
Other than playing with clay, I like to relax outside in the sun, play guitar, and watch movies. It might surprise people that I have a mischievous side that I struggle to keep under wraps.
In what ways does your home state of Hawaii influence your work?
The flora and fauna definitely play a part—to what extent I do not know.
What’s next? Where do you see yourself going from here professionally? What are your biggest ambitions that you’re willing to share?
I’m not sure. The possibilities are endless, and you never know where you’ll end up. I’m just going to keep creating and see what life presents before me.
Thank you, Gordon!