Vito Bila

There is a dominant theme within my metalsmithing practice in which I engage with various metals and processes to make non-functional vessels. Throughout my practice I have endeavored to express in different ways a dialogue that occurs between maker and material. I do this through the use of various metals and processes including raising, casting and fabrication. Through these processes this dialogue or conversation manifests in different ways within the form and the surface of the vessel. For example, hammer marks, wrinkles, creases and cracks are promoted in a raised vessel; oxides and colouring that form on the metal surface during the casting of metal on metal are encouraged, the cast section becomes a method for joining the fabricated components. Welded seams in fabricated pieces are left untouched. 


It is my intention for the surface of the vessels to become a sort of map of the processes that I engage with in their making. The seam as it has developed in my recent work represents for me that which is often hidden within the crafted object, in particular in the tradition of silversmithing.  Silversmithing tradition would suggest that these types of marks, signs of construction and oxides are undesirable and may even be considered bad practice. So the seam in my practice has become emblematic of the dialogue between maker and material that I am interested in expressing with the work.  It is the location of coalescence, the coming together of dissonant processes, or the joining of discrete metals, which are at times incompatible. Hot and cold, liquid and solid, ferrous and non-ferrous, digital and analogue etc. 






Work in stock or available for commission 

© Bilk Gallery 2020 

Directors Helen Aitken - Kuhnen and Mio Kuhnen               Subscribe/ Facebook/ Instagram