Week 9) Artist – Will Brigham

Artist: Will Brigham
Exhibition: Altered Carbon
Media: wood, metal
Gallery: CSULB SOA, Dennis W. Dutzi
Website: theartificery.com
Instagram: theartificery

About the Artist

  • Will Brigham used to study in OCC but 3 years ago he transferred to CSULB and this currently his last year in college. Will Brigham is from Huntington Beach and a member of BFA metal program. Will Brigham like spearfishing, Will Brigham even make his own spear gun. Will Brigham start to work with knife about five years ago and start to have interest with metals. Will Brigham also have a studio of his own outside campus, it leave scar after he finish a project but with inspire of making cool stuff, that what push him to go on.

Formal Analysis

  • Will Brigham mainly work on knives, hand craft rings and sometime a rose make out of metal. Will Brigham main material are copper and brass. Will’s color theme are black/red, brown/gold or bright silver/dark grey. The color are very easy to recognize, Will Brigham always tried to use a dark color wood to make then handle for his knife to match the color scheme. His knifes are usually large almost a size of a machete, but they are big for a reason, to expose the metal skin to the viewer. This is done by a technique that stack difference type of metal to each other then keep folding them together. Most knife will be smooth out with grinder and put in a chemical for the metal to oxide, each metal have difference oxide color, that will create the metal skin texture and there will no identical piece. Will Brigham share that an average knife and average of 350 layer.

Content Analysis

  • Will Brigham have a great passion for his work. He share that it is a great feeling after finish a project, it hard to describe it when you put all the time and hard work on it and turn out to have beautiful pastern. Everything has it downside, for a “blacksmith” like him, it always hard to clean up his own mess. After grinding there will be metal dust all over the shop, he like to work on a workshop with white wall so he can track down to dust and collect them with magnet. Will Brigham want to start to make sword in future, because a sword has bigger displacement to show off the pastern, bit it is not easy to make a sword and his current condition does not allow him to create a fine quality piece due to the lack of heat treating oven, he has one but it not big enough.

My Experience

  • I found this extremely interesting. I already see this kind of forging technique, it all over the internet but see it in real life is a difference story. For every project, it took Will Brigham about 200 hours or more to complete one. He start with about 20 layers of different metal, mostly high carbon steel and nickel. First is heat the stack up until it bright red then start beating it block, once Will start forcing, it rarely he put the metal back to the oven because force create heat. Keep beating it until the block is flat then fold them up and beat more, finally try to make it to a shape that he want, he start to heat treating then grind and put the metal to chemical bath. the same concept apply for all of his work.



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