Arland Ben has worked with metal for nearly twenty years. In college, he studied art and experimented with various media: charcoal, watercolors, and clay. His brother-in-law introduced him to working with silver and showed him how to manipulate it.
Then Ben taught himself how to work with gold.
Ben draws his inspiration from everything and he bestows special honor on functional art. “Art is everywhere in the world,” he says. As he sees it, we walk through art everyday. In contrast with many metal smiths, Ben always hand-cuts or overlays it. He also eschews templates and cuts out his shapes by memory.
“I draw the figure in my mind and move it around in a three dimensional space. Then, I hand-cut the figure into the metal,” says Ben.
Ben still considers simplicity the mark of a finished piece. He admits that creating overly elaborate work is a temptation of his craft, and that restraint is required to keep his designs simple.