The Art of John Howell IV

05/30/12

Stop by City Planter to check out the amazing work of metal artist John Howell IV. We maintain a selection of his artwork as he comes up with new, creative pieces.

 

We met John when he stopped by City Planter to show us his latest project: the hydroscale. It is a blend of form, function, and beauty as well as being a piece of kinetic garden art. The hydroscale interacts with the plant it holds, moving up or down as the plant uses water.

 

John Taylor Howell IV grew up in Washington Crossing and attended Solebury School.  He learned to weld in the theater department under the direction of Chris Langhart.  He went on to study under both John Mathews and Jon Burns at Bucks County Community College and earned his Bachelor of Arts at Alaska Pacific University Anchorage with a Major in Creative Arts.  Most recently he’s studied under Alan Bell of ArcheDream for HUMANKIND.  His Shop and studio are located at the Bucks County Art Barn In Buckingham PA.  He currently lives in South Philadelphia.  Below he describes why he chose metal as his muse.

 
 
 
In the artist's own words: Sculpture to me is metal.  I weld because I like it (metal).  Metal is strength mixed with malleability, offering what wood does not.   When I sculpt it’s a refuge.  I make the ends meet for myself.  Any piece I make is a collection of things I’ve done, spells I’ve cast to hold my idea together.  Behind tinted goggles there is no happy or sad, no lovers or enemies, bills or due dates just magic. 
Most recently I’ve been enjoying balancing the craft of holding plants with the art of how you hold them.  My hanging hydroscale for example, is a kinetic piece that pivots in a way that indicates when the plant needs to be watered.  In this way the plant influences the piece. 
I’ve focused on the life of the line with these pieces.  I've spent time with each of them in my home day to day.  I’ve edited many of them down, pruning back superfluous curves and tangles.  What’s left is pieces that abide by their own self stated rules.