Rhea Vedro – Statement
I am exploring the peregrine. My work refers to migration and protection, the falcon, the pilgrimage, one in exile or on a sojourn, one from outside of the city walls.  As a metalsmith I am moved to be a small part of the trajectory and wide sweep of humankind’s relationship with metal. Early civilizations and contemporary societies have been shaped by the mining and refining of metal into objects and tools of traded value, beauty, war, infrastructure, ceremony and industry.   
My recent steel sculptures are informed by ideas of mystical birds and boats, migration and transmutation.  My subsequent sketches and visual research investigate migrations of people and goods, elaborate saddles, ancient Viking ships and Egyptian bird iconography referencing the guardian that carries the soul safely out of the body in its migration from material to immaterial.  I am inspired by the question of what we offer and what we carry, where we will be changed by our journeys and what we claim as constant.

Working first from my drawings, I weld armatures from round steel bar stock as a three-dimensional guide for my work.  I create volume by drafting patterns and transferring them to sheet steel, which I cut, texture, form and weld around the armatures.  Once I have finished creating my metal forms, I reevaluate them again with fresh eyes and focus on their surfaces.   I apply a mix of patinas, metal leaf, wax and paint in many layers, sanding selectively between applications and reapplying my surface treatments.