Gosia Warrink’s metal objects d’art have two sides. And this designer’s work has a multitude of aspects.
“Art is such a big word,” says Gosia Warrink. She prefers to call herself a designer rather than an artist. And yet she does create individual metal objects, largely by hand, none of which resembles any other. In her hands, copper or steel wire is transformed into fragile-looking wire images reminiscent of sophisticated fashion sketches. She turns copper with its reddish glow or aluminum plate with its cool look into silhouettes to adorn any wall, following animal or female motifs. Reduced forms, precisely cut out, are in contrast to playful details such as the herring- bone patterns we know from the fashion world.
One distinctive feature of the work performed by this Berlin resident is that the works can be viewed from both sides. If one side is spotless white or neon-colored, then the other side will surprise the viewer with a clear metal surface or organic oxidation. “I found it important to stay away from the conventional, single-sided perception of images. My objects are multifaceted. They can alter the appearance of the rooms in which they hang — and they can do this again and again,” declares this woman of 39.
Open to change
Gosia Warrink was born in Poland and studied German and linguistics in Warsaw. She moved to Germany in 1995 when she was awarded a scholarship in Berlin; she continued her studies there. “I have always had many interests. I probably inherited my weakness for design and art from my mother, who taught art,” she relates.
This is why, after graduating, she went on to study a second subject, visual communication, at the University of Art in Berlin. Not a detour but a happy coincidence, feels Gosia Warrink, because she now combines language and art in many of her projects. She worked with a variety of materials during her art studies. She loves cutting out silhouettes and enjoys drawing — techniques which she adapts for her metalwork.
She frequently uses jewelers’ tools to work metals. She has machines to do the rougher work, such as polishing. “I made many of the tools myself. My father is an engineer and helped me develop them,” she says. Gosia Warrink cooperates with service providers when she creates large-scale metal objects d’art. They carry out her detailed instructions whenever stamping or laser work is involved. The designer herself adds the finishing touches — such as polishing, painting, oxidizing and sealing.
Experimentation is part of the job
To prepare for working with metals, Gosia Warrink did a lot of experimentation and developed many of her own techniques. “Especially when oxidizing metals, I apply some very unusual methods, some I had never heard of before,” she says. The reason for this is that she seldom uses chemicals for her sheet metal work but prefers substances bought from drugstores, supermarkets or Asian food stores. They lend a special patina to her works of art and make every design unique — because she never knows for certain what the results will be.
Her wire images begin with a freehand sketch and a detailed computer drawing. Then she prepares a full-size paper template. “And that’s when I start bending. Sometimes things turn out completely different from what I had envisaged in my original draft. If the metal plays along, however, I let artistic liberty run its course and forget all about the draft,” she explains. And this brings us back to her as a person. Accepting changes, always being inquisitive as to where her developments are likely to lead, and understanding them as an opportunity are all very important to her. In design, in art, in life.
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This article was first published in spring 2014.