David Stepan enjoys and explores the nature of materials. From the warmth and immediacy of hammered copper, to the peculiar grains of wood, and the way materials capture time and place.Employing his Bachelor of Fine Arts training and decades of experience as a bespoke furniture designer maker he blurs the lines between Art, service and décor, creating objects that transcend their purpose.Recently moving from Ontario to Nova Scotia, Canada with his wife Jody, they are renovating a derelict early 1900’s feed store to become their home and studios.
The material is salvaged copper, typically electrical busbar from shuttered industrial plants. I purchase it from metal recyclers. I cut the material to size, then tumble it in my cement mixer with gravel for a couple of days, removing the years of industrial grime that came with it.With a knife for instance, the end of a piece of cut bar is hammered out with a three pound sledge, flattening it, creating the blade. The blade is further hammered out with a one pound hammer, using more intention to direct its shape. The hammering work hardens the copper, allowing it to take an edge and become a knife. Because the blade is essentially created by hammering the handle to become the blade, all the material is preserved, and the balance of the tool is perfect. The texture on the handle is created with a ball peen hammer, with many strokes giving it its pleasing feel. I really enjoy the way the fingerprint and energy of each hammer strike is captured in the copper, and the immediate and organic way the pieces develop, creating objects that are clearly handmade, functional, and unique.