This past Saturday, artist Jaydan Moore gave an insightful talk at the Craft in America Center into his practice and the artists that inspire him. He took us on a journey through his past, coming from a family of third generation tombstone makers, to the many craft schools where he has studied. He kept the audience interested and laughing the entire presentation. Video of his presentation will be available on the website soon.
From an early age, he was interested in preservation and the objects that surround these memories. One of his first series emanated from trophies and their connection to retiring service industry professionals receiving teapots.This started him down a long path of using found objects and making them entirely new while sculpting with the “use” of previous owners. In keeping with his sense of humor, Moore told us, “The best part about making a show about trophies is that you get to take all the trophies home with you.”
Moore explained the material he starts with: the discarded and precious items of thrift store shops and specifically silver-plated platters. These mass-produced platters allude to the past, to the handcrafted sterling silver platters, teapots, and silverware that are on display in museums. Of the three layers that are present (the original metal, the silver-plating, and the layer left by use), he finds the personal-use layer the most enticing: the owners care (or lack of it), the cleaning and polishing that has worn off the plating. Moore uses these platters to juxtapose memories–to explore the different histories present. He calls this technique of putting pieces on top of each other and melding into an object, “marriage pieces.”
Moore uses low-heat soldering because, while he loves high-heat soldering, it would damage the patina too greatly. He works exclusively on the backs of the platters to keep his hand invisible. Moore accepts donations of platters and makes-single edition prints for the owner then uses the platter as material for his sculptures. “I’m going to destroy this thing,” Moore says, “I hope you’re OK with that.” Moore makes screen prints for all the platters he uses before he cuts them apart, and has begun printing with the synthesized pieces as well.
During the Q&A session, Moore was asked about advice on getting into craft schools; the artist said that–besides the mass amounts of work that needs to be produced to be considered–showing up is critical. The schools want to see that you are interested and you know where you will be living and working for potentially three years. Moore related that he almost didn’t get into Penland School of Crafts because he hadn’t been there. He is currently in his final year of his three-year residency at Penland. “The greatest thing about going to a craft school is that you get influenced by so many people there,” said Moore. “Many people get to show up for two weeks and get to experience a new technique, a new material.”
We look forward to seeing what this artist will come up with next.