Christopher Thomson

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Christopher Thomson

"I design forged steel home furnishings: lamps, candle sticks, fireplace tool sets, chandeliers, tables, and chairs, which are marketed nationwide.  Six employees help me produce these designs.  I continue to study the traditions of my craft, but I am particularly excited about integrating inspirations from other sources into my work".


"During each of the last 30 years, I have spent at least a few weeks hiking, kayaking, and camping in the deserts and canyons of the Southwest.  Often I go alone, in search of vision, transported by the light and vastness and geologic time made visible.  The monumental rock formations captivate me.  Carved by wind and water, by faulting and geoligic upheavals, they appear marvelously random, and yet they unerringly reveal the character of their material.  They streach my ideas of beauty and rightness".


"I improvise flute tunes to interact with these magical places.  I've studied this instrument since childhood on my own, with master players, and intensely for three years as a music major in college.  I find that ideas first explored musically ofter find their way into my steel work".


Design inspiration also comes from work with clay.  In the 1960's, I studies with Bauhause-trained master potter, Marguerite Wildenhain.  After that, I lived and worked for ten years at a pottery co-operative which I helped set up.  It was an exhilarating experience - exchanging ideas with the many potters who worked there as we strove to find our own expression in that medium.  Clay moves in ways similar to hot steel, but is quicker to work with.  The repetition and sheer volume of work I was able to make as a production potter helped train my eye and develop an aesthetic which applies to my steel forged work".


"Designs of my current pieces have evolved from working in series.  I work with the steel in a direct way, allowing the hammering, stretching, and bending of the forming process to add to the design.  Rather than force the hot steel to a preconceived shape, I strive for an improvised interaction so that each piece attains its own presence and lyricism".