Artist Profile: Gordon K. Uyehara Interviewed by Julia Rai
Born and brought up in Honolulu, Hawaii, Gordon lives there with his elderly mother. I asked him about his first memory of being creative. “I painted a War of the Worlds spaceship in kindergarten. Well, at least I remember doing it,” he said. “I discovered metal clay in the summer of 2002. I thought it was interesting and had potential.” He went on, “The first things I made were crude pendants.”
I always like to find out about the creative process that other artists use and I asked Gordon how he comes up with his designs. “It starts as an idea and then a sketch. The plan comes from the sketch, i.e., the order of assembly and templates. I break it down into steps like a computer program.” Many of his pieces look very complex. “They don’t seem that complex to me,” he explained. “I only attempt things I think are possible. Sometimes I get frustrated during the making process though. You have an idea about what needs to happen and in what order. At certain times you need to reassess the process and change the order to a completed project. The path is not always what you expected.” I can normally recognise a piece of Gordon’s work and I asked him about his style. “I’m not sure I have a style. People say I do. I don’t think about it.”
Gordon combines a number of other techniques with his metal clay work. “Just little things here and there. A little fusing, soldering, filing, riveting, wire wrapping, keum boo, resin, etc.” he explained.
I asked Gordon about a piece of his work that is special to him. “I used to have a piece that I liked to wear. Sadly, it was lost some time ago. This is the only picture I have of it.”