SR Interview with Goldweard: Craftsmanship in the Digital

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I am known as Goldweard, I am sitting here in my flat in the south of England musing on my time as an artist. I have always been a digital designer, I was making artworks on my computer when I was a kid, and I have been making art the same way since I was 14.

Caged – Tiger
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A Black and Gold ceramic Tiger sculpture encased in a gold wire frame mesh sits inside a glass display case.

I am interested in cultural memory and craftsmanship. Since the advent of mass production, design has become standardized, generic, functional, minimal, and disposable. Beauty in design is often subjective, I find extravagant designs beautiful, they sometimes lack functionality, are expensive to produce and delicate, the type of object you would expect to find in a chateau or antique store. They are coveted objects, they were loved, never forgotten, handmade by expert craftsmen, relics of the days before machines and mass production took over. 

Tortoiseshell Bull
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A statue of a charging bull rendered in tortoiseshell and gold atop a gold vein marble base

A turning point for me was meeting an old man, he had a wardrobe, it was very old and worn much like the man himself, it was in 2 pieces and he referred to them as ‘mum and dad’ the wardrobe had been a family heirloom past down from generation to generation and it was our job to move it to his new house. He was so attached to this wardrobe that he couldn’t bear to watch for fear of it being damaged, as the team was carrying it down his stairs and loading it onto the van he covered his eyes almost in tears. I realized at this moment that people can invest a lot of emotion into an object with history. To everyone else it was just on old piece of wood, but to that man it was his connection to history, it was his mother and father, his grandparents and it was part of his family. I found it strange someone could feel such a strong connection to an inanimate object, everything in my apartment was machine made, bought for functionality and low cost rather than how they made me feel. At this point I decided to seek out beauty in design, I wouldn’t own an object unless I felt emotionally connected to it in some way.

Kintsugi
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Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, they say a broken object is beautiful, to repair it shows it was loved. In this artwork I explore the fragility of relationships, the hands reach out towards one another but never touch for fear of shattering.

There is an ongoing struggle between technology and craftsmanship. I want to use technology and computers to create art in a way that honors the hand-made works of the artisan, for me their patterns, textures, structure and materials have history, they are talkative, they tell a compelling story. 

Weapons of Choice
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Ornamental weapons made of ceramics and gold are laid out on a glossy surface.

I explore many other themes in my artworks from femininity, to fear, love, life and death, my designs are nomadic, spontaneous, and disorganized, I like to explore a variety of ideas. I spend a lot of my time designing so when an idea arrives, I find it difficult not to materialize it right away.

ADHD
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Large colorful pills are crammed inside a Gumball machine

I always start with an idea, sometimes I write it down or sketch it, other times I jump right into 3D design. The process of designing in 3D is therapeutic, shaping objects and building up complexity from basic geometry still feels like magic to me.

I would love to bring some of my 3D creations into the real world and create larger than life sculptures to display at NFT events around the world. However, with corona and lockdowns I have decided to postpone this idea.

I entered the NFT space in 2019 after seeing posts on twitter, I was drawn in by the idea of a market for digital art. It was the answer to a question I have been asking since I was 14 “how do I make a living from my own digital art?” the question had gone unanswered for the better part of 2 decades. I had worked on commissions and spent some time in a marketing department, both shared the same problem, I was working on designs for other people, materializing their ideas and not my own. NFT’s and Cryptoart was the opportunity I had been waiting for and a seized it with both hands.

Caged – Beetle
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A porcelain Beetle encased in a geometric grid sits inside a Glass display case.

The NFT community has been welcoming, helpful and open, it is easy to start a conversation with artists and collectors, people are always willing to talk about their experiences and share their thoughts on the industry. I have spoken with many artists and collectors from SuperRare and there is a shared belief that we are at the forefront of a digital art revolution. Everyday new artists and collectors are joining the space and discovering NFT’s through sites like SuperRare. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to sell my work and be part of the community.

Entomologists Prize
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An ornamental Hercules Beetle formed from gold and marble is lit on a red velvet padded surface

I believe the future is very bright for NFTs, as more people discover the world of digital collectibles, the market cap could hit $600 million by the end of 2021 and $1 billion by 2022, I can see SuperRare solidifying its place at the top of the art auction market place. It is not unlikely that we will see a work by an artist sell for 6 figures by the end of the year.

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SuperRare is a marketplace to collect and trade unique, single-edition digital artworks.

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