Instructor: Wayne Werner
Wayne Werner is a third generation metal smith from Baltimore. He has made his living as a maker for over 15 years. He has traveled around the world to learn with metal workers from Italy and Egypt to Java and Bali. Specializing in cold forging precious metals, Werner has incorporated the traditional techniques of gold and platinum smithing with his artistic vision of paying homage to the fertility cults of the ancient world. Werner’s work explores the relationship to metals liquid opus and the opus of mankind, both being a product of the earth cooling down. Through his work Werner attempts to remind people of the miracle of life and the cosmic happening that we all are. Primarily making a living retailing his work, Werner has participated in over 200 high-end craft shows nationally. He has received many awards for his work including the World Gold Council’s Gold Distinction award and the MJSA Vision award for Mokume Gane. Werner is a former instructor at the Fuji Studio in Florence, Italy, and is adjunct faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Md. In 2006 He was asked to demonstrate his craft at The Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, NC. An event marking his 40th birthday.
My work is a celebration of life and our journey through it, a pure testimony to its splendor. It is about my insight and personal wonderment of the conception of man. It is about forces that are held in the stars and the bodies of mankind, driving forces of life and nature. The purpose is to show micro and macro forces that affect the everyday life of the being; the internal forces of love and sex as well as the external forces driving mankind to space exploration and divine enlightenment. I see myself as a man between it all. The ever changing organism. The transient, progressive, evolving man. A thinker, an actor, an artist. All of these thoughts and things from one single cell base. How amazing it is to have been conceived and to conceive ones own conception. I am fascinated with the Alchemical premise that “before one can return to the human opus, all things must be reduced to liquid.” This has led me to create many pieces documenting conception, DNA, and gestation.
Those who view the work may not realize the symbolism or the concept behind each piece; they may only see something that is pleasing to the eye. Sexual and astral forces are never seen, but they do hold a strong accountability for the actions of mankind. If the design of a piece sneaks up on the viewer and lets its true symbolism be known, it is no different than the first kiss of a future lover – a stroll into the unseen world.
The ancient cultures of the world use precious metals to document their beliefs. This is what makes their work essential to the museums of the world. It is the concept as well as the craftsmanship that is important to me.
When I have gone to decay in the continual rotation of the earth, the work of my mind, body, and spirit will remain as a testimony of how amazing it was to have been here in the first place.
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