Conceptual Tools

It is some transcendent thing that aesthetically separates the cathedral from the office tower, the clipper ship from the freighter, the violin from the synthesizer. As technology improves, it demands greater practicality at the expense of aesthetics.

I was living in London when I became aware of the measure of loss of aesthetic detail to our world. In that city particularly, the beauty in the buildings, machines and everyday objects seemed commensurate with their age. This was more than simple nostalgia. I began to take notes of some of the more beautiful aspects of contemporary production that I thought would be lost to future pragmatism, such things as the rounded corners on city buses, the rows of tiny panes that made up phone booth windows, even the design of wheels.

These considerations set me on the long journey that has brought me to this series, an exploration into the aesthetics inherent in low-tech tools. (The "tools" in this series are intentionally designed for impractical purposes.) I have found the beauty of such tools to be most intense at the intersection of three vitalities: 1: a respect for materials used at the extended range of their physical capacities; 2. A respect for the forces of nature; and 3. The joy of creation. My theory is that any tool created with these qualities in mind will be an object of beauty.

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