Since I was a boy, I've been rooted by a deep connection to nature. There was a large tree in the backyard of my family's first house and I was climbing it before I could talk. And I still climb trees today, sawing out hornets nests or branches to gild in gold. I also cannot walk through a forest or field without picking up treasures. 

 

Alchemy has been an important theme throughout my life. As the medieval precursor to chemistry, it involved experiments with the intent that these trials would eventually yield a precious metal, transforming a lesser form of  matter to a higher form, like lead into gold. This idea as a metaphor for transforming suffering into enlightenment and transcendence is a daily practice.  By shifting my perception I can create a different reality, one that is of great beauty.

 create a 

Before gold was an object of obsession for me, I loved porcelain. I didn't create with it, but I collected it. As I researched alchemy, I discovered as a Chinese alchemist experimented in attempts to create gold, instead created porcelain. When the western world was introduced to the milky white ceramic, it was called white gold and was considered as precious and rare as the metal.

 

And like gold, my love of it remains today. Below are pieces done for my Alchemy exhibit where I took objects I found in nature and transformed them.

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© 2018-2020 by Christian Bradley West