Wk3 – Artist Conversation – William Brigham

This week at the CSULB’s art galleries we had four amazing artist display their work for us.  When I first came to the galleries that morning only 3 of the 4 were open.  I had just finished walking through all 3 galleries and was contemplating which gallery I liked the best when Courtney said we should wait for the last gallery to open.  I noticed someone had open the door to the last gallery and I hesitantly asked if it was open.  The first thing I though was that this particular gallery was much smaller than the rest and at first glance it was just a bunch of little plates and pots.  However, after Brigham explained how he made them and how passionate he seemed about his craft, it was then I saw everything in a new light.

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one of the three Damascus steel knife

This first thing that caught my eye in the gallery were they Damascus steel knives in the back of the gallery. I have never seen knives where the blade had such unique patterns.  Brigham was able to create these patterns by layering steel and nickel thus creating a grain, similar to wood grain.  This allows the pattern to be present through out the material. Taking from what he learn while doing Damascus he then tried Nerikomi and Mokume-gane.  Nerikomi and Mokume-gane is similar in that they layer the media that it is made of to create patterns.  For Nerikomi is clay and porcelain while Mokume-gane is made of a mixture of metals.  While Damascus and Nerikomi have been seen all over the world, Mokume-gane is unique to Japan and only 2 or 3 people in the United States do this craft.

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Nerikomi bowls

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Nerikomi plates

Brigham does this not to share some kind message but to share his passion for the technique.  He has practiced and experimented with different types of metals and techniques.  He is most proud of his Mokume-gane pieces.  It takes a lot of time and patiences.  He has been working with chemicals and metals to get different types of patterns and colors.  Brigham stated “This is a close to getting to a mad scientist…it’s a lot of fun.”

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Mokume-gane pot

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Mokume-gane vase (one of the bigger pieces in his collection)

If you are interested or would like to know more about William Brigham’s pieces his email is wbrigham@socal.rr.com or call him at (714) 336-7564

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