This week, we interviewed HCCC current resident artist, Jaydan Moore, a metal and jewelry artist who fabricates new objects from historical wares, such as silver-plated tableware and family heirlooms. Jaydan earned a BFA in jewelry and metal arts from California College of Arts, Oakland, and a MFA/MA in jewelry and metal arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Tell us a little about what you are currently working on.
Currently, I am working on furthering the concepts I started in graduate school. Using found silver-plated service ware–platters, teapots, silverware, etc.–I create sculptures and prints to discuss how our everyday objects are affected by the meanings and memories we connect to them. More specifically, I have been working on two new veins of this series while at the center.
In the first new avenue of this work, I have been collecting replicas of the same patterns of platters and cutting each to meld into one another. Most of these silver-plated objects are made by the thousands and looked identical when they came off the production floor, but, through their use over time, they all become individual. It is amazing to me that many of us have these odd similarities in common, but each of us has developed a completely different history and/or meaning for almost the exact same object. By melding many of the same platters into a new form, I hope to show how all these iterations create an all-encompassing definition of that specific pattern.
While working on this, I have also begun a donation service for silver-plated platters. I have been asking any guest to the center if they are interested in letting go of their service ware; if they are willing, then I print a single edition of their platter for them to have as a thank you and remembrance of their heirloom. In the end, the donator gets a one-of-a-kind print, and I use the material in new sculptural work.
How does the history of the objects that you acquire influence and/or inform your work?
The history of the object influences my work greatly. The materials I use began as functional objects and were valued as such, yet, over time, these objects have lost that specific relevancy and have evolved into something completely different. Many of us preserve these objects for their beauty, as well as their significance to a moment or a loved one. The tableware I come in contact with has lost that meaning for their previous owners but still shows signs of its importance through the marks of wear. By altering these pieces, I try and create new forms that heighten that lost narrative.
You also make prints of antique silver platters. What is the significance of these prints to you and your metalsmith work? If any, how would you describe the relationship between your prints and your metalsmith work?
I use the printing process in my work to hopefully capture the final layer of ware on the silver platters. By using the actual platter as a print plate, I hope to let go of this object’s functionality in hopes to give it a new one as an aesthetic object. I look at the prints as a way to document a final moment, while the metal works are a merging of many histories into a common idea.
What do you enjoy most about working in metal?
What I enjoy most about working in metal is its amazing physical properties. Metal is this amazing substance that is seen as so strong and durable, a material that will last for thousands of years, but, once you begin to work with metal, you see how malleable it is. It is this diversity in the material that makes it such a great marker for history. Metal withstands its daily use, revealing evidence of use by the dings, scratches and patination that can be read on its surface. I see this accumulated layering of worth as far more precious than the most valuable of materials. Finally, once a metal object has run its course, it can be scrapped, melted, and cast, ready to be made into a new object. I believe that within the new object still lives the past.
Describe yourself in five words.
Honest, Considerate, Calm, Focused, and Hardworking
What is your impression of the Houston arts community? Has it lived up to your expectations?
I am very impressed by the Houston arts community. I really had no preconceived notions when moving here, but it has been really great since moving here. Everyday, on my journeys in and around town, I am amazed at all of the galleries, public art, and exhibitions happening all at the same time. It has been so great that I feel that I am always missing some sort of great art at all times.
The main thing I am most impressed with about the Houston arts community is the knowledge of the public. I have had many guests in my studio who have told me they are out the whole day checking out the art going on in Houston, and that is an amazing thing to hear. I feel there are very few cities out there that have such an excited public who can’t get enough of seeing new art.