Grant McCaig | Ovalis

16 Sep 2021

Grant McCaig presents Ovalis, a new series of brooches where he explores the notion of wholeness and clarity. For Grant, working in silver is an inspiring, creative, technical and expressive process. Using traditional silversmith techniques as his foundation, he creates pieces which explore the relationship between functionality and self-expression.

Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Grant McCaig in his studio (Photograph: courtesy of Craft Scotland)
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Expanding the Whole, 2021, large hollow formed precious white metal; hammer formed, stainless steel pin, H3.6 x W8.8 x D8cm, image credit Nicola Tree
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Coming Together – Moving Apart (modelled), 2021, hand carved Pear wood, stainless steel pin, beeswax, acrylic paint, H2.5 x W9.6 x D5.2cm
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Singular Whole (wood) & Solitary Motion, 2021, hollow formed precious white metal; hammer formed, hand carved Pear wood, stainless steel pin, beeswax, H2.4-3.2 x W7.5-8.5 x D4.6-5.5cm, image credit Nicola Tree

This series of brooches explore an idea of wholeness and clarity. There is a determined omission of decoration across the group encouraging an awareness of the deeper primal sensory qualities; form, surface and material. The pairing down and stripping away of decoration, remains part of the tradition of looking inward; introspection and self-reflection. The oval (Ovalis (Latin)) form is a common motif throughout, a shape that sits at the nucleus of the group.

Grant McCaig
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Oval Brooch in process, 2021
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Silver brooches being formed and sanded, 2021

Working in silver is inspiring and creative, technical and expressive. Using the traditional techniques of the silversmith as my foundation, I build pieces that explore the relationship between functionality and self-expression. I want my work to be individual in design and concept and give pleasure to the user. There is something magical about silver. When it arrives in the brown paper and card board packaging, which is promptly unwrapped and examined, a voyage of discovery begins. I have never once look at a sheet of silver and thought nothing of it. My mind skips to the possibilities and the ideas that I originally purchased the metal for tend to pale in the face of the endless possibilities that lie before me. Soft and rounded, or crisp with sharp edges and plain bold surfaces! Silver, you will find, can do it all

Grant McCaig
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Oval brooches in progress. Placed alongside found stones which inspire shape and texture, 2021
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Remember, 2021, oxidised hollow formed precious white metal; hammer formed, stainless steel pin, H2.6 x W6.2 x D5.7cm, image credit: Nicola Tree
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Expanding the Whole (modelled), 2021, large hollow formed precious white metal; hammer formed, stainless steel pin, H3.6 x W8.8 x D8cm

The simplicity of each piece is balanced with my fascination for the complexity of mechanisms. Jewellery, for me, has to be worn to be fully realised. Connecting to the body Is the challenge of making pieces to be worn; whilst producing something that is both enduring and practical it must be elegant and well considered and effortless to use. The carved pear wood pieces offered the greatest technical challenge. I did not want to compromise the simplicity and purity of the form or the material with an ill-conceived pin. The Final design encompasses the dynamism of all materials used; the softness of the wood with the tension of the stainless steel.

Grant McCaig
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Untangling the Whole Brooch in progress, 2021, fabricated forged precious white metal links, stainless steel pin, H0.2 x W10.5 x D10.5cm
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Untangling the Whole (modelled), 2021, fabricated forged precious white metal links, stainless steel pin, H0.2 x W10.5 x D10.5cm
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Singular Whole (wood) (modelled), 2021, hand carved Pear wood, stainless steel pin, beeswax, H2.4 x W8.5 x D4.6cm
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Singular Whole (wood) brooch in progress - Grant hand carving the Pear wood to achieve his desired form, 2021
Grant McCaig | Ovalis
Grant McCaig's New Collection, 2021, precious white metal, oxidised precious white metal, hand carved Pear wood, stainless steel pin, beeswax, acrylic paint, image credit: Nicola Tree

Video by Craft Scotland
Meet Grant McCaig, a Scottish maker who creates thoughtful pieces in forged metal, delicately partnered with silver, wood and ceramics.

You can view Grant's silversmithing here.

Grant McCaig's exhibition, Ovalis, runs 2nd September - 25th September 2021.
If you'd like to find out more about Grant's work and new collection, please click here to register for his Meet the Maker event on Wednesday 15th September 2021.

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