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Alistair McCallum’s approach relies on evolution, not radical change. This vase features the specialist technique of Mokume Gane, a traditional Japanese metalworking technique, which when translated in to English, means wood grain metal.
Mokume Gane is a time consuming technique and involves building a sandwich of different metals and fusing them with silver solder. Alistair uses between five and 128 layers dependant on the individual piece. McCallum uses the simplest vessel form to contrast, but harmonise with the detail of the Mokume Gane rim, which is the focus of his work. McCallum recorded spontaneously occurring ideas in quick sketches to act as future source material. He developed these through drawing and occasional model-making to resolve the final design. Play and experimentation were a key element of his design process, as in the Mokume Gane rim of the vase. He worked directly with the materials, exploring their qualities and the different ways they could be manipulated to alter and enhance the quality of the finished design. Colour and contrast have an important role in his work, hence his interest in this specialist technique. Vase: fabricated. Rim: layered metals, forged, twisted, hand constructed, patinated.
Alistair McCallum Silver Vase with a Mokume Gane Rim. Hallmarked London, 2015 Sterling Silver Vase, Rim: Silver, Copper and Gilding Metal