DETAIL: Toots ZYNSKY 'Pennellata' 2004, 'Filet de Verre' fused and thermoformed colour glass threads
Helen SHIRK | Violet hood: Commemorative cup XVIII

SHIRK, Helen
United States of America 1942
Violet hood: Commemorative cup XVIII
Commemorative cup series 2005
copper, patina, coloured pencils
47.0 (h) x 51.0 (w) x 28.0 (d) cm
Photographed by Helen Shirk

The forms of Helen Shirk’s bold metal objects come from studying the natural world. She continually records landscapes and plant life encountered during travels to Europe and Australia, combining them with observations of her local setting in Southern California. Her response to these observations of growth, blossoming and renewal becomes the springboard for dynamic vessels. The consummate craftsmanship of a highly skilled silversmith underlies Shirk’s agility with hammered copper and colour pencils. She studied gold and silversmithing in the United States and Scandinavia, and then refined her work through decades of experimentation and practice. Violet hood: commemorative cup XVIII draws on historical precedents that delight the eye with wondrous memorial objects. This exuberant vessel celebrates an undisclosed occasion, as exotic flowers spring up to voluptuously reveal the luxuriant colours of their inner layers.  EKB

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