Artist Statement from Christopher Thomson


I pull long pieces of dripping hot steel from the fire and hammer them to shape under large power hammers in the moments before they cool or before the next piece overheats. The immediacy, physicality, primal force, rhythm and repetition induce the mindless totally aware state from which I create. In magic moments all I know and care about flow through me un-translated to conscious thought. Mine is craft-informed direct metal sculpture with an improvisational overtone. The inspiration flows from and is inextricably linked to the forging process but is often outside the traditions of the craft. Forging forms without pre-conceived ideas of how they will fit into the final composition keeps the work fresh.

Pajos are from a series started in 2011. I forge the individual sticks or pajos in groups of 40 in the passionate process described above. The forms change and evolve during the process. Then, in a more contemplative mindset, I compose them into groups of three attaching them to a spiral base. The interplay between the three elements is lyrical, meditative and unpredictable. I've been making them in many sizes up to 8' tall and foresee them getting still bigger. They move nicely in the wind.

Pineapple yellow colored forged steel "Baby Pajos" free standing sculpture with three long tendrils pointing up.