David M Bowman Studio


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    We are father and son partners in metalwork: David is self-taught, working with metal for 50 years now, and Reed has worked with him for 30. Together we create unique, minimalist wallpieces, tables, table accessories, and jewelry in patinaed brass and copper. We are over-qualified for the job - David has a degree in aerospace engineering and Reed has a masters degree in medieval history. Both of us contribute enthusiasm for metal fabrication and patination and a passion for original design.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: Our work is made entirely by hand with mostly simple hand tools and our own homebrewed techniques. We fabricate everything from sheet and rod (rather than casting it), brazing all the seams so that the patinas will cover everything evenly. Patinas are the result of various chemical solutions applied while heating the metal with a torch, often in multiple layers. The patina formulas range from ancient recipes to the results of our own experiments over the years.

    A: Metal combines strength with a wide range of shaping and fabrication techniques. Copper and brass are malleable but strong, and their reactivity allows a wide palette of patina colors. Working in patinas on brass and copper means we can make compositions in single or multiple earth-tone colors, where the colors are not arbitrary like paint but are a natural consequence of reactions with the metal itself.

    A: David has supported himself and his family with his metal creations for a remarkable 50 years now. Our techniques are idiosyncratic and largely developed in-house, and few other makers do anything comparable; for much of David’s career, no one was doing anything like his work.

    A: 50 years of working with metal and I’m still amazed at how far the metal will move and shape under the hammers and fire. I’m in awe of the knowledge and skills that metalsmiths accumulated over the millennia that we’ve worked with metals. I’m grateful for the current state of the art where we can buy metal in perfect sheets or rods and have amazing tools for cutting and grinding and polishing and heating the metals - not to mention our essentially still ancient hammers and anvils.

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