Catherine L. Fey

Tower (2019)—graphite drawing on paper (Image: 5.5” W x 7.5” H.)
Hoops (2019)—graphite drawing on paper (Image:  5.75” W x 6.75” H. )
Work Bench Still Life (2019)—archival photographic print on paper
(Image: 10.25” W x 12.25” H. )

Artist’s Statement : All three pieces are based on a series of photographs I took while visiting the Hart Silversmiths in the Cottswolds, UK, and they are intended as a kind of triptych. Mr. Hart is a third-generation artisan, whose shop is the only surviving business from an early 20th-C utopian experiment that was intended as a way to bring poor Londoners to the countryside, giving them new skills and a better life. The small workroom I visited was filled to the brim with fascinating bits and pieces that naturally formed beautiful still-life compositions. The scarred wooden benches and the many tools, gleaming with the patina of decades of handling, all spoke strongly to me of the beauty of imperfection—even in these machined, but now worn, elements of the silversmith’s art.

BIO: Now retired from teaching, I am delighted to have the time to travel widely and to work in my home studio in Chicago. Currently, I am taking photography classes and working privately with a drawing teacher. I am fascinated by what makes photography Art and by how photographic images change as they are translated into other media, such as graphite drawings. In my Wabi-Sabi Tool Series, I am exploring how to express in graphite the many textures and surfaces of the well-worn tools I discovered strewn about the 100-year-old workshop of Hart Silversmiths in England.

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