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Folded form in a 1915 copper bowl
Gene Olson - Wednesday, December 5, 2007 - 10:55pmRepousse & Chasing copper | fold forming | foldforming | Nikrassoff | raising copper | repousse
A couple years ago I saw this bowl and took some notes, not nearly enough notes.
Earlier this year I took my old notes on the pattern and geometry and started a smaller version working from years old memories. . .
I wanted to do a proof of concept study to show that the bowl was not raised, but rather an object fold formed from a flat sheet.
my version is greatly simplified but does illustrate the process and my thesis.
The staff at the Art institute were very helpful and provided me with the image of the piece at the top of the page.
and the following information:
Dear Mr. Olson:
It was lovely to speak with you the other day in regards to our copper bowl by artist Karl Nikrassoff. Please find attached a black-and-white image of the piece. I've included some basic information on the piece below for your reference:
Department: Architecture, Design, Dec. Arts, Craft, and Sculpture
Object Name: Bowl
Maker: Karl Nikrassoff, American (born Russia), active early 20th century
Birth Place: Russia, Europe/Asia
Maker Geography: United States, North America
Date Label: c.1915
Period: 20th century
Origin: United States, North America
hand-wrought; flat center with small hammered circles; walls of vertical waved lines all facing the same direction
Dimensions: 2 7/8 x 14 5/8 in. (7.3 x 37.15 cm)
Mark(s): impression on bottom 'Nikrasoff'
Credit Line: The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund
Current location: MIA, On View - G334
Karl Nikrasoff's copper designs are not as well known as those produced by Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Workshops and Elbert Hubbard's Roycroft Copper Shop, yet they possess a dynamism that is distinctive in the area of Arts and Crafts metalwork. Nikrasoff was a Russian Jewish emigré who came to New York around the turn of the century and developed a line of decorative copper. This set of candlesticks and bowl are probably among his earliest works. Besides their references to European Art Nouveau metalwork, the swirling gadroons of the bowl are very similar to a Russian gold and niello ceremonial dish in the Armory Museum in Moscow's Kremlin that was a gift in 1561 from Ivan the Terrible to his second wife. It was much copied by Moscow goldsmiths through the seventeenth century; thus Nikrasoff could have very well been familiar with the original or a later version.