Jefferson Mack
The Blossfeldt Images 

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Like so many good things, this series came about by necessity. I invited Matt Gil to share the show space with me and he came with all free-standing sculptures which left me with the wall space.

My challenge was to create 2D artwork from my standard 3D medium. I have considered my work to have a graphic aspect: a black linear form against a lighter background. Most of my concepts are initiated with a black marker on white paper. For subject matter, I had always imagined the historical black and white photos of Karl Blossfeldt produced in metal. Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) is known as one of the twentieth century's defining photographers, honing a specialism in intricate botanical photographs. By developing homemade cameras and lenses, he was able to magnify his subjects by up to 30 times, exposing the underlying structures of nature that until then had been a mystery.

Blossfeldt shot over 3,000 iconic images of plants in his lifetime.

The next challenge was to produce 13 pieces in 4 weeks while keeping my busy  schedule of commission work going. Images were selected, forms studied and traced in AutoCad and sent to steel suppliers for plasma cutting. Lots of heating and hammering. Veining technology was developed. Early versions were scrapped with metal too thick or too thin. The whole project questioned for viability. My sanity doubted. However each week, several pieces got hung on the wall, a context was created and magic occurred!