In 2021 I got the opportunity to be part of Silverplåten: a scholarship by the Ulf Gillberg – Lennart Agerberg Foundation within Nationalmusei Vänner (Friends of the Nationalmuseum Stockholm). Alongside five other artists, I received a sheet of 925 Sterling silver, measuring 300 x 300 x 0.9 mm, to create an object for a joint exhibition.
The intention of the Ulf Gillberg – Lennart Agerberg Foundation is to promote contemporary silversmithing by supporting young metal artists, as well as purchasing contemporary silver objects for the permanent collection of the Nationalmuseum Stockholm.
With the possibilities I had available, raising a vessel the classical way was never really an option. So after collecting inspirations and ideas I was thinking through different techniques to work with sheet metal, turning a flat piece into a three-dimensional body, a korpus with inside and outside.
After coming across expanded metal mesh and different paper packaging materials, I started with cutting paper models to understand cut patterns and their ratios. By arranging the cuts in circular or other curved loop patterns, I discovered that this has the potential to create soft three-dimensional volumes.
After hand-sawing the first copper prototypes and countless laser-cut paper models, I decided on a design and gave the silver sheet to a company for CNC micro-water-jet cutting.
From there it took several weeks until the piece was finished. Meticulously chamfering the cuts, expanding and bending the silver sheet, soldering the two halves together and polishing all edges with a burnisher was very labour-intensiv craft.
“The Tales of True Equilibria”
925 Sterling silver, 490g
280 x 200 x 125 mm
The Silverplåten exhibition took place in Södra Ljusgården (south courtyard) of the Nationalmuseum Stockholm, from 07. Sept. – 02. Oct. 2022.
“The Tales of True Equilibria” was shown alongside the work of the other five scholarship holders: Wictor Eldervik, Veronica Södergren, Daniel Freyne, Simon Hallman and Beata Alfredsson Grahn.
“The Tales of True Equilibria” is a silver object about the tension between several opposing issues and the impossibility of total balance. While leaning on its side, the soft abstract body has a complex structured yet transparent surface wrapped around the inside volume.
A very prominent balancing act exists in its materiality. Where a sheet of silver, a precious metal, turned into a type of expanded metal mesh, an ordinary material for industrial constructions. Through extensive experimental modelling in paper and copper, I found a technique to create soft volumes by using a closed loop of curved cuts – turning a usually flat and stiff mesh material into an almost organic shape. The intricate cut pattern got achieved by CNC micro-water-jet cutting. While this part of the process got outsourced to industry, expanding the sheet and hand polishing the edges was a labour-intensive craft.
Not only during the creation of this object but in my practice in general, an alternation between spontaneous artistic expressions and straightforward design decisions is quite regular. Balancing out methods of industrial manufacturing with meticulously executed craft is as essential as getting affected by modern-day influences and historical research.
Depending on the state of a project, the materialised object, the viewer or the context of the encounter, one side of the mentioned cases will always be more dominant.
An absolute, true equilibrium, a state where competing forces cancel one another, probably remains a tale.
“The Tales of True Equilibria” was made possible because of Silverplåten: a generous material scholarship by the Ulf Gillberg – Lennart Agerberg Foundation within the Friends of the Nationalmuseum Stockholm.