I've long been amazed by Harlan Butt's incredible cloisonne work. Originally drawn to the sheer scope and technical aspects of the work, I now find myself more interested in the literal poetry behind each piece. Harlan spends much of his time in nature, hiking and camping, composing haikus about his surroundings. These haikus then drive the studio work.
I love Harlan's non-traditional use of cloisonne. Typically, you see individual wire cells filled in with color. Harlan utilizes the wires, not so much as cells, but as overall patter, layered with a detailed enameled scene. Lids are composed of cast and enameled components, along with etched haikus. Somehow, he manages to convey a sense of these massive scenes on small scale, incredibly precious objects.
I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Harlan while I was the Artist Fellow in Fine Metals at Peters Valley Craft Center. It was such a privilege to share a studio with him and just watch him work. He is such a talented and generous individual, and thoughtful artist.
Check out more of Harlan's amazing work here.