Metals | Bakersville
Tradition is a tool in Seth Gould’s hands. His work draws inspiration from both Western and Eastern metalworking sources but, like an alchemist, he discovers new forms in the fire of their synthesis. Visitors to his studio are often struck by the outward simplicity of the utilitarian objects he makes – locks, saws, hammers - that capture both a sense of the everyday and a connection to a past unanchored to a specific time or place. Each object reveals itself gradually, in the equipoise of its weight and feel, in its spare and decisive ornamentation, or in its layers of meticulous craft and ingenuity, unlocking something familiar yet entirely new.
Gould is an artist and a craftsman in the truest sense because he takes objects you have seen a thousand times and endows them with individuality. As George Walker wrote in Popular Woodworking Magazine: “Nothing could be simpler than a hammer. That is, until you hold one of Seth Gould’s cross-peen hammers and discover the balance and heft of a tool that instantly becomes a part of your arm. Suddenly, you have a new category for the word ‘hammer,’ something with life and spring in your hand, and all those other things you once called hammers are now downgraded to a clumsy dead weight on the end of a stick.”
Seth Gould is a 2018-2019 N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship winner. He received his B.F.A. from the Maine College of Art. In 2015, his work was featured in a solo exhibition at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and in 2017 he was selected for the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Award, which supported study of traditional metalwork techniques with several Japanese master artists. He recently completed a three-year residency at the Penland School of Crafts and now lives in Bakersville.