IIW welded art exhibition, 2021


Jennifer is presently the Teaching Chair of the Art Program and Professor of Art at Illinois Central College, East Peoria, IL. Her foray into welding occurred during her undergraduate Sculpture II class in North Carolina. Her professor showed her how to use an arc welder, a plasma torch, and an oxy/acetylene torch for brazing and cutting and with scrap gathered from scrapyards she started creating welded metal art. It wasn’t until graduate school that she learnt how to use a Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding. She has been using welding in her artwork ever since. The best advice she can give to students is to be inspired by what is available to you. As a professor of art, she often tells her students that it is hard to come up with ideas when you stare at a blank page in your sketchbook. Look at the materials that surround you, be inspired by them and by how you can change them. Try piecing things together, solving a puzzle essentially. Nothing dictates that a table must have a 100% solid surface to be functional as a table. Another favourite thing she stresses to her students is to manipulate what you have material-wise to suit your needs as an artist. See how you can alter and assemble the materials to meet your vision or idea. Exhibit “THE JACKSON TABLE” Jennifer is fascinated by form and function with the two working in unison, one sometimes outweighing the other, but still working together. In terms of the process of creating welded functional pieces, sometimes the design comes first from something that she has sketched in her sketchbook , and sometimes the design occurs when she looks at the materials that are available around her. The Jackson Table especially was inspired by all the small scrap pieces of metal that she had laying around that she deemed still useful but didn't know what for. The table essentially grew around the scrap pieces that she had cut up and welded together to make a solid(ish) surface. There are gaps in between the pieces of metal, however, when welded together, they are flat, and items can be placed on the surface. This surface is what the rest of the table evolved around. The legs are cast aluminum from scrap aluminum and the apron was also pieced together from scrap steel. Dimensions 20”wide x 40” long x 18”high Contact info Website: www.jennifercostastudio.com • E-mail: jcosta@icc.edu


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