NorVA resident artist Avery Ascher was recently awarded a Manitoba Arts Council Craft Grant in the emerging artist category. Avery works in metal and fabric, and over the past year has created a range of solid copper bowls using an ancient technique she learned at Red Deer College, Alberta. The technique is referred today as 'sinking a bowl', and employs several cycles of heating, hammering and forming to create the volume and shape. (Feel free to visit her bio and gallery pages in the ARTISTS section of the NorVA site for examples of her work.)
The technique Avery learned involves first cutting out a circular disk from flat copper sheet, and then working through the cycles of heating, hammering and forming. She is using the grant funds to buy materials and new equipment that will enable her to push this technique in different directions. Instead of cutting out a solid circular disk, Avery will first fabricate 'whole cloth' from variously-shaped smaller pieces of copper using cold connections such as riveting and wire wrapping. Then she will cut out circular disks from this 'cloth', and work through the heating, hammering and forming. The primary challenge will be to maintain design and structural integrity through all the stages of working each piece. She also aims to create a range of different-shaped vessels in addition to round bowls.