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Robert Wilhelm

Raw Design

Portland, OR

I hope to surprise people with a sophisticated yet playful approach to making everyday functional objects: bowls, vases, peppermills, etc.

My work strives to help people recognize the artistic value inherent in ordinary objects typically associated only with a functional purpose. By experimenting with form, pattern, and surface manipulation, I hope to surprise people with a sophisticated yet playful approach to making everyday functional objects: bowls, vases, peppermills, etc.

Inspired by organic shapes found in nature, the basic structure of my designs is either turned on a lathe, cast or spun (if in metal), hand-shaped or constructed. I make use of dyes, paints, burning, and carving to add complexity to the designs, all of which induce the kind of visual excitement that tempts people to touch the work. A primary goal of my work has always been to force people to reevaluate their assumptions about the intrinsic artistic value of commonplace items.

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