William Vanaria describes the process behind his copper-and-brass artwork Non Ferrous Belt Buckle, which is featured in our Belt Buckle Expo exhibition and won third place in this year's World Championship Belt Buckle Competition. Vanaria is based in Waltham, Massachusetts. He works as a metals teacher and professor for various institutions as well as a silversmith, polishing specialist and jeweler for several companies and artists. Process images and words from Vanaria:
Setting the scene: Vanaria's studio in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The process begins with renderings using CAD (computer-aided design) software.
When I was writing the project handout, I needed an example that would convey the tone and complexity expected of this assignment. So, I designed a crest in CAD (computer-aided design) based off something I was passionate about. The layout of the crest is an amalgamation of traditional of family crest elements with iconic silhouettes of hand tools that are signifiers of this field (as well as the ones used to fabricate this object).
When I learned about the World Championship Belt Buckle Competition, I had several designs in mind-but they were mainly decorative objects consisting of mokume, Damascus steel, and a hexagonal motif. None of them felt right, so one night when I was going through my sketchbook I found this design and realized what bothered me about every other design I had come up with: they all lacked a personal connection and existed as beautiful yet extraneous objects.