Jack Mauch Metalware
“As one of five children in a family that values art more than procedure, no one objected when I elected to drop out of high-school at age16 to begin studying at the Maine College of Art. I double majored in Ceramics and Furniture Design, and ultimately graduated with a BFA in Ceramics. I moved to Cambridge, MA where I worked for the Department of Exhibitions at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and taught woodworking as a Non-Resident Tutor of the Arts at Harvard’s Eliot House. Seeking to expand my creative vision and technical abilities I obtained a two-year Core Fellowship at the Penland School of Crafts where I conducted a broad, multi-disciplinary study of materials and craft processes, and began much of the inquiry that drives my work today. I currently work in my studio in Allston, MA, but frequently travel to participate in artist residencies and to teach workshops. My work has been exhibited in the United States, including at SOFA Chicago, the Penland Gallery and the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and has been featured in American Craft Magazine and on the Popular Woodworking Blog.”
– Jack Mauch
Jack Mauch Metalware
Like with many great craftsmen, trying to adequately describe the style of Jack’s work is difficult if not impossible. The best you can do is to point to certain words that come to mind – sturdy, artful, macabre. You’ll surely have a few of your own as well while surveying his collection of handcrafted household items.
Whether or not movies have actually served as inspiration for his work, you can’t help feeling like several of his creations would be right at home in a Tim Burton movie or an early David Lynch film like Eraserhead or The Elephant Man. Many of his kitchen items – like the pig-nose tankard, salt spoons, and footed goblet – are at once beautiful, playful, and a little unsettling. They’re also impressive displays of craftsmanship and showcase Jack’s mastery of his materials and processes.
From his description of his own education, work history, and teaching experience, as well as his work itself, Jack comes across as a craftsman’s craftsman. It’s clear that he emphasizes technical mastery and a deep understanding of the art of metalworking, yet he does this without sacrificing vision or his ability to develop his own unique aesthetic style. It’s rare to see someone displaying such a high level of both creativity and technical competence.
The same attention to detail that allows Jack to create work with such striking aesthetic brilliance also contributes to the usefulness of his items, especially his collection of metal cups and mugs. Their obvious durability and their sense of tongue-in-cheek macabre are central elements of his visual style, but so is their obvious utility.
If you would like to make a purchase, you can contact Jack through his website. You should also consider signing up for his newsletter to stay updated regarding workshops, exhibitions, and new projects. This is one artisan that would definitely be worth following, as his career is sure to continue evolving in fascinating directions.
Ever the dedicated craftsman and teacher, Jack also welcomes questions about his process and about his work in general. You will also want to check out the furniture and woodwork section of his website. Much of his woodwork centers around geometric designs and parquet patterns, and the results are often stunning. Jack is a truly talented and original artisan, and it will be fun following his evolution as a craftsman as he continues exploring his field.