Enter David Luck’s studio and you immediately confront his fascination with metalworking. Every available inch is packed with work spaces, older yet well- maintained tools, scraps of sheet metal, shipping crates, files, books. In a studio that could easily enter a state of chaos, David’s is ordered, layered.
With an undergraduate degree in photojournalism, it was graduate work in metals with Chunghi Choo at the University of Iowa that brought David closer to his present sculptural involvement with metal. “As I designed and made functional metal objects, I became interested in the expressive qualities of the metalworking craft. Metal is part of our visual culture and seems to express a certain subject matter and content by itself.” The mainstay of David’s work is his jewelry: handmade link bracelets, pendants, bangles and earrings for the most part, in sterling silver. However, he also makes sculptural pieces and metal wall quilts.
When working in sculptural forms, David’s preference is for sheet metal and casting. In investigating these techniques, he explored structural systems used to fabricate metal items in everyday life. Ductwork is an example of this. As he describes, “I adapted structural systems to make forms on a larger scale. The patterns of the structural components and joints broke up the surface of my forms, becoming part of the decorative system. This led to the use of hammered surface patterns and relief. I composed these rhythmic patterns, trying to make compositions with internal harmony.” Some of David’s pieces employ colored surface patinas, which he achieves chemically in the studio.
In addition to jewelry, David Luck has executed commissions of large hammered metal wall quilts for public buildings such as Iowa State University’s Horticulture Building and Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the University of Iowa.