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Juliette Bigley

Juliette Bigley

Our lives are lived through, brightened by, and coloured by the objects with which we surround ourselves: our interactions with these objects and their characters fascinate me and are the basis of my work as a metalsmith. Working in base and precious metals, I use the form of vessels as a canvas through which to explore how we negotiate our physical and emotional place within the world. Focussing particularly on line and form, my vessels - vases, dishes, bowls and spoons - are both sculptural and functional and emerge from the context of the domestic and the rituals that characterise it. I am especially interested in the table as a richly symbolic – but also everyday - space.

All of my work involves relationships: within the piece through gestures and the relationship of form, between the piece and the viewer, or between the pieces themselves. My work sometimes takes the form of individual pieces, sometimes as pairs and sometimes as groups that can be arranged and rearranged to explore these different relationships: many of my pieces have a strong sense of character and the notion that these groups can be endlessly rearranged by their owners to suit the spaces they have and their own moods is important to me.

Pieces typically begin with a flat sheet of metal and I use a range of techniques including raising and fabrication to hand-make my pieces. This typically involves many rounds of heating the metal to ‘soften’ it before moving it using different techniques depending on the shape I’m aiming for. Different elements of a piece are joined through soldering and all pieces are finished by hand using a matt finish, through a process of applying many layers of marks using different abrasives. This results in a soft finish in which the lines and curves of the forms can be clearly seen. 

All of my pieces are unique, or are unique pieces from within a series.

Find Juliette on the Crafts Council Directory