Due to my interest residing in functional design I think it’s important to step outside the box and look at the possibility of expanding your thought and exploring new concepts. Crafts are fairly rigid in their mentality, as they are age old methods of making with a lot of baggage attached to them, so I admire any young creative who takes on the challenge to set these categories free and explore them in new and creative ways.
Julian Watts is woodworker based in Oakland, California and uses traditional wood carving and furniture making techniques to explore the space between a sculptural form and a functional object. In my opinion this series titled ‘Twig Vases’ is especially well suited to this concept, as these mimic a functional form that has been used for many hundreds of years, but at the same contradicts this function with the wavy, sculptural aspect of the woodwork.
This surrealist approach is distorting the functionality but at the same time bringing in the eye of the user, we are able to recognise that these are not just everyday objects, even if the function assumes so. An intriguing concept and I decided to bring over a few of my favourites images for you to admire, more can be found on Julian’s website linked below. Not only is he an interesting artist, he is also a very talented craftsman. Enjoy.