Most people use coins to purchase tools at the hardware store. Not Stacey Webber. The Indiana-based artist forges coins to create sculptures that resemble everyday tools. The visually stunning results speak for themselves.After seeing her works, I knew I had to get in touch with Stacey to ask her what inspired her to create these pieces and to find out how she goes about making them. My favorite part of the interview is when she tells us words she lives by – “Work hard, play hard, and make bad ass shit.”You can catch the interview in its entirety, below.
Where are you from? Can you please give us a brief description of yourself?
Indianapolis, Indiana, US. I’d say I am a good ole’ Indiana girl….some may say differently! I am a bit of a pit bull, stubborn, strong, hard-nosed, with a Boston terrier interior, quirky, energetic, playful.
You work with an extraordinary medium – coins. What inspired you to first use coins for art?
I became interested in making artwork which expressed the struggles of the everyday blue collar American during the economic downtown around 2005. It seemed natural with a training in jewelery to work with coins – they are small, metal, and literally represent value. After researching and making endless amounts of samples/experiments I became fascinated with older pennies (pre-1982) which are solid copper and vintage silver quarters, dimes, and nickels. Copper and silver are traditionally used in metalsmithing’s history making it the perfect relationship between concept and craft.
How hard is it to work with coins? How long does each piece usually take?
Each piece is completely different pertaining to time. Every sculpture is a one-of-a-kind design, so the larger ones, of course, take more time in engineering and fabrication. It is fairly difficult to work with coins because each coin is a different alloy depending on the year and country. Different alloys require research on the possibilities of connecting – welding, soldering, riveting, etc. I have chosen to make constructions using American coins that not only relate to my concepts but also make use of my technical training.
What do you do to stay creative?
Watch bad tv/movies, go to as many exhibitions as possible – art, science, theater, music, travel, make experimental samples….or miniature sculptures, talk to Joe, family and friends.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
I think I’m still aspiring, too, and hopefully I will always feel the energy and unsettledness of emerging artists. But I sort of live by the motto…work hard, play hard, and make bad ass shit.