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_                           Process


One of the primary influences on my rust enso is Zenga, the painting and caligraphy practiced by zen monks for several centuries. Zenga were created not for art's sake nor at the bidding of wealthy patrons, but rather to aid meditation and to lead one toward enlightenment. The style of brushwork is dramatically bold, seemingly impetuous, and bluntly immediate in effect. The translation from mind and spirit to paper is immediate and stresses simplicity and depth of spiritual expression.

To me, the most profound subject in Zenga is the enso. Nothing could be more simple than the basic circle, usually depicted in a single

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seemingly imperfect brushstroke. The circle is seen as the all, the void, and enlightenment itself. The power of the enso lies in its elimination of the non-essential, achieving greatest impact with the least of means. Instead of brush and ink, the rust enso are created by the process of corrosion. The process of Nature reclaiming our fabrications. Much like traditional enso, the precise outcome is never wholly predictable. Like the pattern of cracks in raku, the end result is largely left to chance. In my case, the shape of the piece, or pieces, of metal dictate the size and basic composition. The final texture and pattern of a given piece are ultimately indeterminate.

In the end, my purpose is to create works that illuminate the simple things that give pleasure and provoke consideration of the fragile balance of our lives.

      --Josef Szuecs

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