Sunday, March 8, 2009

Alf Ward

I've already mentioned this, but it bears repeating. Alf Ward is the coolest man on the planet.

That's Alf up there in the photo. Sure he may look like a regular guy, but he uses his metalsmith superpowers to create things like this:

Last week I shared (with a room full of other people) the honor of listening to Alf speak about his life and his work. He is a gifted speaker and storyteller and though this was not my first time hearing him speak, I (and everyone else) hung on every word.
After his elegant telling I would never ruin those stories by attempting to retell them, but I thought I could toss out some of the notes I took so I might be able to remember them later...
Mick Jagger's dad was his teacher of metalsmithing and physical training
Mick, Keith (Richards), and Spencer Davis were his classmates.
Mick always had a cat with him.
Peter Blake was his drawing teacher.
WWII bomb shelter stories.
Anti Aircraft Guns next door. ("Thats a bloomin' racket out there tonight!")
Trading scrap metal from downed German fighters.
Downed German pilot coming in for tea with mum to wait until the police came to take him away.
In addition to these great stories, he also shared some of his ideas about art. He described art as a "journey into oneself" and described an artist's progress in art and design as the result of time and experience. He shared a former teacher's advice to "concentrate on uniqueness" because if you are true to yourself then you never have to worry about anyone copying you. He also mentioned a connection between what the artist creates and what the artist experiences in ever day life. He indicated that all of his work has to do with the basic language of being a human...relating to how we treat one another and how we deal with things in our lives and in our communities.
At the end he was asked how important drawing was to him as a metals artist. He responded with, " me, drawing is the most important thing".


molly said...

I would like to quote you, quoting Alf Ward for a moment:

"Mick always had a cat with him."

Another reason why cats are awesome, just sayin'.

e-sketchbook said...

cats are the reason mick has "sympathy for the devil".

i wear mittens but not gloves. said...

nice entry, my friend!

what an incredible guy.

Carlee said...

I also wrote down that Mick always had a cat with him. :)

His handbags are unbelievable. I think he's capable of making an entire gender feel utterly appreciated- not just idolized or wanted but appreciated.

e-sketchbook said...

amazing how he visually communicates that sincerity in his work.