Brian Jensen Part 2: Cutlery Metalwork

by Kathleen Huebener in Art Inspires Art


“Art Inspires Art” previously announced that “Brian Jensen Part 2” would include both jewelry and cutlery. However, with the opportunity of being able to present more of Brian Jensen’s metalwork in the cutlery category, jewelry will exhibited in “Brian Jensen Part 4. “



Featured Artist: Brian Jensen

Folding Knife #72911-1

0-1 tool steel, brass, walnut

Folding Knife #72911-2
Forged Damascus steel blade
Upper edge left rough
Brass, cocobolo handle
Close-up of the Blade of Folded Knife #72911-2
  Small Knife showing rivets #72911-3 
  Three-inch to six-inch Knives #72911-4
Tool Steel, aluminum
Brass, phenolic, walnut
  Six-inch to eight-inch Knives #72911-5
Recycled File Steel
Brass, antler
  Ulu  #72911-6
  Tool steel, walnut
Brass rivets
  Ulu #72911-7
Tool Steel
Walnut, brass rivets
  Cutlery Device #72911-8
 Use in Food Preparation and Self-Defense
Tool steel
  Another view of the versatile Cutlery Device #72911-8
  Hand Axe #72911-9
 Steel, copper
Forged, hot wrapped and riveted
   Close-up of handle of Hand Axe #72911-9
Be sure to view “Brian’s Artwork Part 3” next Friday.
It will include Brian’s clay artwork;
some pieces may make you smile.

Brian Jensen

Brian enjoys the sensory attributes of the materials he works with. The warmth of forged metal, the cool feel of clay, or the fragrance of freshly carved walnut are what enhance the experience of creating. Brian has always been interested in many forms of art, yet he had very little formal training in art until college. While in college Brian did not train for a career in art, rather he followed a scientific curriculum, yet found time to include
undergraduate and graduate classes in metal, clay, and sculpture.

Form is paramount to Brian. He tends toward the organic rather than the mechanistic in his work, which can be seen most clearly in the metalwork he creates. He believes himself to have been the fortunate student of some of the finest professors in those fields.
Professors Chuck Evans and Phillip Allen provided extremely well equipped studios
with clear but open teaching styles and emphasis on striving for perfection of form and technique. Professor Paul Shao taught Brian the fundamentals of sculpture, emphasizing the refinement of form. Brian was given the opportunity to assist Professor Shao
in casting some of the professor’s metal sculpture
and finishing some of the professor’s wood sculpture for display.

Other major influences include:
the works of Henry Moore, with massive, iconic minimalist sculpture,
Alexander Calder showing how steel can move and respond to even the slightest wind,
and Heikki Seppa, whose mastery of hollow ware and refined forms
remains unmatched today.

These individuals, both alive and dead, have shaped Brian’s understanding of how art can make people feel and what it can convey. They have collectively given him a foundation of technical knowledge and an appreciation of the aesthetic that vision and hard work can achieve. They have shown Brian that his interest lies primarily in three-dimensional work, although some of his favorite works to study are paintings in the impressionist style,
just because he likes them.

Finally, Brian maintains that mistakes are part of the process
and vital to the creative outcome.
He will say that most of his work, especially the works he likes the best
come from a concerted effort to fix what he technically phrases as ‘a screw up’.
“We all have them; it is how you deal with them that matters.”

A former art and science instructor in the Illinois Public School System,
Brian Jensen has had work exhibited in several venues,
including the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in Mason City, Iowa.
He works in various media, including stoneware, both hand built and thrown, metalwork,
and knives incorporating traditional techniques of raising, forging, and pattern welding.