October 4, 2013 – January 19, 2014
In The Maker’s Archive, ceramicist Tybre Newcomer captures the transcendental relationship between craftsmen and their tools in this reverent installation that pays homage to the tools in Newcomer’s collection. By presenting the tool as a devotional object and contextualizing the maker’s workspace as sacred, Newcomer sheds light on this indescribable relationship between makers and their tools.
Based on personal interviews with various makers–including a blacksmith, a woodworker and a gaffer—Newcomer’s installation emphasizes the ritualistic nature of process. As an artifact, each object represents a set of valuable techniques that have been passed down for generations.
The artist’s wall pieces, such as Reverence, pay homage to a late-19th-century tool chest made by piano maker, H. O. Studley. This American artifact is exemplary of a craftsman’s reverence for his tools. Designed to hang on the wall, Studley’s tool chest housed nearly 300 tools, some antique and some handmade. Borrowing from the ornamentation of Gothic cathedrals, the piano maker custom designed individual cubbies and niches for each tool. Hanging in succession, along the walls of the gallery, Newcomer’s pieces reference Studley’s design, and, like niches punctuating the interior space of a temple, frame tools in a gesture of respect and devotion.
Photography by Logan Beck