JAMES D. W. COOPER
METALS | Sculptural and functional metal
Penland Affiliation | Penland Instructor 1999, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2012
Artist Information | Studio artist; education: BFA, Memphis College of Art (TN), Apprenticeship, Blacksmithing, James A. Wallace, Memphis, TN 1979-82; awards: American Craft Council Award of Achievement, 2022 Fire On the Mountain featured artist (NC); collections: City of Greensboro (NC), Birmingham Botanical Gardens (AL), Metal Museum (TN); publications: 500 Chairs
Artist Bio | A student, practitioner and teacher of metalwork for 51 years, James has worked as a jeweler, silversmith, foundryman, conservator, sculptor and blacksmith. Only rarely working with gallery representation, he has produced work for private collections throughout his career. During his tenure as a conservator, he enjoyed the privilege of working on objects from the Etruscan Collection of the Vatican Museum and Qin Dynasty objects from the People’s Republic of China. He produced public art for the City of Greensboro, NC, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Emory Children’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA. James has works in the collections of the Metal Museum, Memphis, TN and Penland School of Craft. In 2004, he received an award of Achievement from the American Crafts Council. In 2020 James and his wife moved to the mountains of Mitchell County, NC, the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.
Artist Statement | I make utilitarian works of art. Enjoying something everyday that was custom made for you, takes useful items to a whole different level of enjoyment. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than my clients’ expression of delight when they embrace a piece made only for them. I pride myself on turning an idea or a wish into reality.
Technical Information | Forged and fabricated steel, copper, and silver.