Eric Folsom was our November 2012 Guest Artist and is our November 2013 Guest Artist.
Eric Folsom, a Gulfport native, moved to Washington DC in 1974 so that he could spend as much time possible looking at and studying the art in the museums of that city. He began his apprenticeship in 1977 in Sperryville, VA. He spent ten years working under the guidance of George Anderson and learned about and became proficient in the techniques of brazing and fabricating bronze and copper into jewelry and sculptural forms.
During his apprenticeship, he began showing and selling his work at juried Art/Craft Shows from Boston, MA to Columbia SC and continued to show his work at juried Shows throughout the Mid-Atlantic states until 1995 when he returned to Gulfport as a permanent resident.
In 2007 he was the recipient of the Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Professional Development Grant for Individual Artists which allowed him to purchase new tools and continue his pursuit of developing new techniques to create metal objects.
He currently shows his work through various exhibits with PAVA, the Florida Craftsman Gallery, and at Domain….and Gallery in Gulfport.
Eric uses an oxygen/acetylene torch for brazing, melting, bending and forming bronze welding rods. He continues the process by using various hammers, pliers, vises and grinding wheels to make highly finished utilitarian objects and jewelry. He is inspired by the simple, elegant lines of nature and uses them to form lasting works of art that will be beautiful to behold for many years.
"My goal when I work with bronze and copper is to make an interesting form that is both pleasing to look at and to touch. I work with bronze and copper because I like to use the heat of a torch flame to make solid metal soft, malleable or even fluid. I enjoy forming it into a shape that when it cools is once again hard and solid. When I use my pliers, hammers and shaping tools I often think of the ancient metal smiths who worked with this same material and how that thousands of years later the warm colors of bronze and copper are still appealing.
When I make a design I determine whether I want it to be a literal or symbolic interpretation, a utilitarian or decorative piece or a combination of these ideas. Inspiration is everywhere but most of my designs originate from observing nature and studying ancient designs; the undulating flight of a woodpecker, the trail left by a shooting star, the light reflecting on the Gulf of Mexico, or an Olmec head."