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William Whinton

Fidget Cages is a series of caged spheres manifesting contrasts as an attempt to display the idea of mood swings. The sharp, rough, uniform, metal cage arms juxtapose with the round, smooth, varied, non-ferrous globes within. While the balls are surrounded by the metal arms, they are not constrained, and can be made to move, inviting interaction and the creation of gentle sounds. The disparity of the forms, and the way they operate together as a whole, is expressive of the compromise necessary for a varied and vulnerable interior self to function in the larger world. The varied materials of the spheres, which include steel, copper, and ruby, suggest mood swings and hidden truths. The ruby, in particular, glows when put under certain kinds of light, suggesting treasure that can only be seen under conditions.  

While not the height of technical complexity, fire welding small stock comes with a risk of burning or cracking during the making process. This project has required a great deal of material experiment, patience, and fine hammer control. I have pursued meaning and metaphor, rather than process alone, but the operations involved felt suggestive of deeper meanings. Neither the spheres nor the arms can be forced; rather, the fusion required care, and it was necessary to understand the qualities of each individual material to create a functioning whole. 

This body of work is prototypical of the scale and designs I like to produce and will continue to create, I have always enjoyed creating small pieces, that can be held or worn, out of a material that is so resistant. I forged this body of work to express my experiences with extreme mood swings and depressive episodes and how I optimistically want to see my thoughts like my forge work, contrast working in harmony. 

Dissertation – Value of heirloom vs throwaway culture.