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Mindcraft 17: Yuki Ferdinandsen

For Mindcraft 17, Japanese-Danish silversmith Yuki Ferdinandsen explores the concept of time in her meticulous and meditative mastery of the age-old arare hammering technique. The result is a series of monumentally curvaceous vessels with highly detailed surfaces.

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Photography by courtesy of the Danish Arts Foundation and Galleri Montan

Everyone knows that time is tricky but how does it actually affect our daily routines, working processes and ever-changing surroundings? For this year’s edition of Mindcraft – mounted by the Danish Arts Foundation during Milan Design Week: 4-9 April – guest curator and scenographer Henrik Vibskov opted to explore a site-specific condition: how different times-of-day cast different atmospheres at the San Simpliciano Cloister; how the droves of visitors that take the Italian city by storm during this hectic week might find pause in this ephemeral haven. The architecture of the locale allows an inner courtyard to cut off from the bustle of street life; providing an ample setting to showcase commissioned projects by 18 Danish craft-led talents: Tobias Møhl, Yuki Ferdinandsen, Eske Rex & Maria Mengel, Birk Marcus Hansen, Emil Krøyer & Mads Sætter-Lassen, Anne Dorthe Vester & Maria Bruun, Kasper Kjeldgaard, Lærke Valum, Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen, Isabel Berglund, Hanne G, Anders Ruhwald, Christina Schou Christensen, Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen and Carl Emil Jacobsen. 

Though specialised in various mediums: graphics, ceramics, glass, textiles, silverware, wood and marble ect., all were prompted to work with the concept of time. Celebrated polyglot Vibskov allocated each creative with a specific period in the day to consider while developing their new works. Some explored the theme by looking at how material is sourced, how age-old techniques weight up to contemporary demands, and how function can be readdressed. TLmag had the opportunity to visit many of the exhibitors’ studios in Copenhagen earlier this month. Here’s the first in a series of profiles, ahead of Milan Design Week.

Japanese-Danish artisan Yuki Ferdinandsen has established herself as a respected silversmith. Having studied in both Kyoto and Copenhagen, the multifaceted talent spent five years working at Georg Jensen. Her independent one-off pieces have been exhibited throughout the world. In 2015, she received the Shoonhofen Silver Award. The craftsperson is represented by Copenhagen-based Galleri Montan. With ties to both Denmark and Japan, Ferdinandsen has cultivated an approach all her own. “I want to sense these two vastly different cultures and thus let them re-arrange naturally in my mind influencing the visions of my works,” she explains.

For this year’s Mindcraft, Ferdinandsen was given one of the longer time-frames: 09:13:19 to 13:10:55. Aptly, as her 1. Time Space, 2. Speed, 3. Sight and Ease series of silverware vessels demand hours of meticulously repetitive work. Having mastered the age-old Japanese hammering technique of arare, Ferdinandsen creates golden-ratio motifs on concave and convex silver surfaces that later form Art Nouveau-esque vessels. These strategically composed objects achieve a level of haptic sublimity. The geometric precision and visual effect of the raised “bumps” patterns pay homage to the refinement of Danish modernism. Explained in her own words this process becomes a form of ritualistic, rhythmic dance and meditation:

“My working day starts slow and reflects on the work that I´m working on. This is The Time and Space, Listening to the sound of my hammer dance and as it getting faster and faster I fell the sound of my hammer in my mind. This is The Speed. Finally, the hammer dance slows down and all is done, and I looking at my creations with great satisfaction, and I can relax, This is The Sigh of Ease.”

Mindcraft 17: 4-9 April
Chiostro Minore di San Simpliciano
Piazza Paolo VI 6
20121 Milan

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