Rod is a metalsmith, sculptor and jeweler. His original passion was for metalworking (fabrication, hammering, casting, repoussé, welding). Since 1990 he has also been involved with the application of computer-aided-design and computer-aided making to the work of the individual craftsperson, and now much of his work is executed using 3D printing. He draws his inspiration from process—from 19th century sheet metal patternmaking to contemporary 3D computer modeling programs. His current work is jewelry—sensuous forms designed digitally and 3D printed in plastic, aluminum and stainless steel. Since 1986 he has been a professor of jewelry/metals at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
His numerous exhibitions include solo shows at John Elder Gallery, New York City; Design Arts Gallery at Drexel University; Heidi Lowe Gallery, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and group shows at the American Craft Museum, New York City; Leo Kaplan Modern Gallery, New York City; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Philadelphia Art Alliance.
I like resistant media. Pushing against a recalcitrant material forces one to define and clarify one’s ideas. As an art school student I took to metal and to this day there is nothing I like better than beating metal sheet with hammers and chasing tools. Years later I decided to try my hand at 3D computer modeling. I found that I took to digital design—as it turns out, CAD (Computer Aided Design) programs are also recalcitrant in a charming way. My current work is 3D printed jewelry. What drew me to metal, to craft, was the idea of thinking through making. The possibility of finding ideas in material and process. I respond to computer modeling programs in a similar fashion. My work is often inspired by the personality of the software; the pieces are improvisations of non-materials and process.