Johann Wessels
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secateurs

Posted: Jun 28, 2012

secateurs

currently being drawn...

There is something very compelling about tools which have been used and attained a patina of sweat and use. There is a polish of time that burnishes metallic objects even as it rusts quietly beneath the users hand.

Jim Dine did a series of tools and objects as etchings in his delightfully scratchy blotchy style. I often find myself recalling his marks and try to bring that rather randomness of spurious mark making to my work.

In the digital realm there is no acid to eat through the ground and produce unexpected grains of texture... one has to make everything and therein lies the challenge.. trying to bring an organic texture to a rather sterile technique. Demanding.

The wine makers and vineyard workers around here all use secateurs to prune the vines. The old school secateurs like this one are disappearing and being replaced by clever electric cutters which can take your finger off without knowing it. Like a muscular electric parrot beak.

I remember my mother using secateurs like this one...the funny coiled spring that made them spring back open always seemed to be trying to grab and pinch the fleshy bit of web between my thumb and forefinger. Even now my hands have a memory of this rusty coiled metal and seem to flinch when I draw near it.

I can hear the creaky sound the spring makes as it opens and closes.