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Filed in Art Gallery by on October 3, 2013 0 Comments • views: 607

Hugh L. Guilderson:  Handcrafted Original Art for Home and Garden

Working in copper is a way to stay connected to an enduring tradition.

Copper smithing — like weaving, pottery, and agriculture — is one of the oldest arts. Copper has been the metal of choice among metal smiths for 6,000 years because copper endures.  It is far more than an artistic medium; copper is essential to all life.

Hugh Guilderson, a third generation architectural sheet metal artisan, worked his way through college by learning the family trade. After a career in construction management, he returned to school, earned a Ph.D., and taught college history for fourteen years. In retirement he picked up the tools again and began to create his own designs.

Each piece follows the principles of traditional design — clarity, unity, and balance — and is handmade of solid copper.

Every piece is designed for ease of use and made to last a lifetime. Every piece bears Mr. Guilderson’s maker’s mark, a tradition among metalworkers for centuries.

His philosophy is best expressed by Wendell Berry, the agrarian philosopher and social critic:

Good work uses no thing without respect, for both what it is in itself and for its origin. It uses neither tool nor material that it does not respect and does not love. It honors nature as a great mystery and power, as an indispensable teacher, and as the inescapable judge of all work of human hands. It does not dissociate life and work, or pleasure and work, or love and work, or usefulness and beauty. To work without pleasure and affection, to make a product that is not both useful and beautiful, is to dishonor God, nature, the thing that is made, and whomever it is made for.

To see his recent work, visit

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