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Metal Mesh Artist..Guest Blogger Lanny Bergner

January 24, 2012

I’d like to introduce you to our guest blogger, Lanny Bergner.  He  is an international mixed media sculptor/installation and fiber artist. To see his work in a one man solo exhibit visit the Schack:  http://www.schack.org/ in Everett, Washington until Feb. 23.  We are very excited that he will be teaching a 4 day class at the Barn House in La Conner this year  http://www.gailcreativestudies.com/documents/Brochure-ExperimentalMetalMeshworking.pdf

Lanny Bergner's solo show at the Schack Art Center

I got interested in working with metal mesh back in 1983.  It was at the beginning of my last year of graduate school at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. A friend of mine gave me a small sheet of bronze mesh; I cut it into strips and made a conical form out of it. The simple act of making this spiral shape got the ball rolling and it culminated in a graduate thesis show that was entirely constructed out of aluminum screen that I purchased from the local hardware store. Several things appeal to me about working with mesh.  First I like the direct hands-on approach to art making.  I don’t need fancy fabrication equipment or tools.  The material is inexpensive and all I need is a scissors for cutting the mesh, flat nose pliers for connecting the mesh together, my two hands and a somewhat compulsive creative mind.

a wall of mesh containers at Schack

You can plan designs or you can work entirely freeform so there is a great deal of creative freedom.  Mesh can be very flexible, soft and delicate yet through cutting and joining 3D forms can be made that have a fair amount of strength and structural integrity.  Another appealing aspect of mesh is that it is about 50% negative space, which means that a mass can be suggested yet the interior of the form is visible as well.

Amoeba Gathering © Lanny Bergner at the Schack Art Center

I have recently embarked on a new addition to my “meshworking” and that is flame patterning/drawing on stainless steel mesh.  This is an exciting development for me because prior to this I worked with plain stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, brass and copper mesh.  Now I can draw on stainless steel mesh using a propane torch.  This adds a whole new facet to my work, akin to turning a monochrome sea creature into a cuttlefish.  So, this is my present preoccupation and I am anticipating a long and fascinating creative journey.  Lanny

Lanny Bergner © 3 D Mesh work at the Schack Art Center

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2012 5:54 pm

    Cool!

  2. January 25, 2012 8:53 pm

    Lanny,

    Can you tell us a little more about how “flame patterning/drawing on stainless steel mesh” works and how you discovered what you could do with the torch?

    Fascinating sculptures!

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