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A Brief Q&A with Sculptor Andrew Hayes

Posted on 03 March 2016

Andrew Hayes grew up in the Southwest and studied sculpture at Northern Arizona University. He lived in Portland for a while, and he now resides in North Carolina. His recent and ongoing work is striking, and I was eager to have him answer a few questions about his altered book sculptures. Our brief email conversation is below.

Can you recall the moment in which you gravitated toward paper and it’s use in your sculpture?
As a metal worker, I started using paper as templates for my sculpture because sheet steel and paper basically move in the same ways. However, I never considered using paper in my work until I took a workshop at Penland School of Crafts taught by an artist named Doug Beube. During that class I saw him cut a book and bend it around, and I was blown away by how it moved, the texture and surface of the paper. After seeing that I started finding ways to use steel to constrict the paper into those shapes.

How do the pages fit into your process? Do you have a shape or story in mind and the pages fit to that? Or do the pages sort of determine where the piece goes?
In my process, I start by finding a book that has interesting colored or textured paper or is of a size that interests me. I then cut the pages from the binding and start cutting away at the stack of paper to find an interesting shape. After I find that shape I start to think of ways to hold it in stasis by adding metal and then building up the metal form in hopes of creating a balance between the two materials.

Are you a big reader?
I'm not a big reader although I deeply admire voracious readers. I'm a slow reader, and over the last few years have primarily been reading comic books.

Do you treat your pages in a certain way? To get them to shape and shift and mold to the steel as they do?
The paper in my work isn't treated or glued in any way. I put the steel and paper under a lot of pressure after everything is shaped, and I drill through everything and rivet the work together.

See more of his stuff on his website.

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