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Nile Fahmy – Artist Statement
I am a metalsmith. I apply traditional smithing techniques to base & precious metals to create seamless & fabricated vessels. The techniques I use include raising, chasing, & repousse. These techniques are all aspects of the forging process. Forging is the beating of metal with a hammer between rounds of heat application, and it is the heart of my method of creation. My work is made by free hand hammering sheet metal into a new object of art.
My metalwork is driven by ancient techniques, some of which date back to the Bronze Age. This means that I practice and preserve smithing techniques that are rarely seen in our world today. Every piece produced requires a great amount of focus, control, physical strength, and endurance. A single vessel may require thousands of hammer blows and hundreds of hours of labor. Each finalized piece of art is completely unique due to the nature of the forging process.
I draw my inspiration from the patterns of the natural world. These patterns of growth, erosion, and decay are everywhere around us. By studying these patterns, I can use a hammer to be wind on stone, water on earth, or the gentle unfurling of a young leaf. The metal moves again and again beneath the hammer blow, eventually coming to rest in a new form, and finally the creative process is complete. Nothing is added, nothing is subtracted, there is only the metamorphosis.
I create my metal artwork because I believe in the power and enduring beauty of a handcrafted object. I am making heirloom artifacts that will be shared across generations. By creating these metal vessels and objects, I am ever present in the human story. Joining the many artists and artisans who came before me, I am simultaneously pulling from the past, and giving to the future.