Artist Statement from Harry Burdett
I was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, and educated in Chicago, IL. I received my BFA from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI in 2000, and my MFA from Cranbrook Art Academy in Bloomfield Hills, MI in 2002.

With a chemist for a father, I grew up fascinated by transformations in nature. Through the forging process elemental inorganic steel takes on some qualities of the organic. The pattern welded vessel series started off as an experiment to see how far one could stretch a block of layered steel before it began to de-laminate; so there has never been an ideal combination of metals that I have used in these pieces. As a metalsmith, I try to use the entire vocabulary of materials available to me to enhance the piece. My metal work has its foundations in both ferrous and non ferrous metals and has resulted in objects ranging from full scale architectural pieces to sculpture, to mechanical jewelry, to a range of Western/Japanese weapons. I enjoy the juxtaposition of old technique and new materials or processes. This relationship makes for pieces that take a new look at time-honored endeavors in metalsmithing. I often wonder what the world of metalsmithing would look like if the craftsmen of antiquity had the technology of today.

Thoughts on Jewelry
I have always appreciated the interaction between jewelry and wearer. From day to day ornamentation, to one's finest formal jewelry, the act of adorning one's self is a ritual. Personal ornament changes the wearer as it creates a moment when setting an intention can be as effective as turning a dial or flipping a switch. This change in frequency can be simple; from public face to private face, to protection, to empowerment, jewelry allows us to alter ourselves through a seemingly mundane act. We routinely use this behavioral mechanism to create a moment that signifies a change or permanence in ourselves.

Damascus Steel
As the crusaders made their way through the middle east, they came across a new kind of iron weapon: the damascus blade. Named for the city of origin, these weapons were comprised of two kinds of steel folded together. At the time, this was the best way to ensure a homogenous metal with even properties throughout. Two steels with different carbon contents were forge welded together, cut, re-stacked, and forge welded again and again. The result was a pattern of layers in the steel. All damascus steel shown on our website has been created in the forges at Burdett Metalsmithing and Design.

Mokume Gane
Mokume Gane, translated is wood grain metal, is a laminating or diffusion process developed by the ancient Japanese. The process is very similar to Damascus making except it is done with non-ferrous metals (metals not alloyed with iron). In this process, layers of alternating gold, copper, brass, silver, or nickel silver are stacked and clamped together under high pressure. The stack is then heated to a semi-liquidius state. As the two metals develop a skin of almost molten metal, they begin to alloy, or melt into one another, creating a permanent bond. The stack, once fused or laminated is then called a billet. From here, the material can be formed into bar or sheet. During the forming process, material is removed via grinding, chiseling, or drilling to expose layers within the billet. As the material becomes thinner, the exposed layers come to the surface creating pattern. Mokume gane was traditionally used for sword guards and decorative vessels. As the patterning process is so tightly controlled, it can be very detailed, or specific as to depict an animal, show letters and words, images, etc. All Mokume Gane shown on our website has been created at Burdett Metalsmithing and Design.