Christopher Martin







Artist's Statement

I create because I must. It is as essential to my being as the food I eat and the air I breathe. My process begins with visions of shapes and lines. As an object begins to take form, I draw loose sketches of my vision. The forms begin to take on more distinctive characteristics, and I go over the original drawing with heavier, more defined lines. Once this design has taken form on paper, I chart out a course to travel with the raw materials. Whatever they may be. I leave openings in my plan so that I might have the opportunity to explore avenues that may not have been visible on the original route. I navigate through the process trusting my instincts as I go. While I keep an eye on the map, I retain the right to be impulsive, to change, and to improve the route to my destination. For the past almost 15 years, I have been deeply inspired by artisans in the developing world; Having spent a good deal of time in Ghana and India, I came to realize that as they were moving into the modern world, they are leaving many of their traditions behind, including their rich histories in craft. Amalgamation is a current project where I am working with various craftspeople from Ghana and India whose work I continue to be inspired by and they are producing everything from cast aluminum to woven cloth. I am driven by the challenge of figuring out how to incorporate these crafts into a contemporary piece of furniture. I view these designs as an opportunity to highlight the various artisans and their amazing crafts. My inspirations almost always take form as a piece of furniture. I attest this to my practical Mid-west upbringing, where I was taught that material things should serve a function. I also work with furniture forms because of the scale. Furniture is both intimate and approachable. I think of my work as art that you do not simply observe but interact with every day. The process of creating is as important (if not more so) as the finished piece. I find it spell binding; the hypnotic powers of manipulating red hot steel, the meditative draw of hand-finishing a beautiful piece of wood. In my work, I choose to leave some signs of the maker behind. More than just a signature, these rasp lines and grind marks are the visual signs of the process, or course I have taken. They help to tell the story of its creation. They also give clues about the maker. These "fingerprints" are there to be experienced and help the viewer/participant to achieve a richer connection with the work. I am part of the piece, as are the inspirations and influences that came before me.

Maker Or Designer?

I am the designer and builder of this object

If You Are Not Maker, Fill In The Name Of Builder And / Or Name Of Company Building Object