This week I had the pleasure of interviewing a very creative person named Thomas Cressman. He is a 5th year student at California State University, Long Beach and is currently majoring in metal work. Walking into Gatov- East gallery, I noticed that his work wasn’t like any other artist that I have interviewed. His work had more of a beach vibe to it, and that’s what I am interested me . It took him about a semester to finish his pieces for the show. He was born and raised in Seal Beach, and I instantly thought that’s why his gallery has marine objects; it seemed to connect.
Thomas realized he wanted to be an artist when he hit middle school. Middle school was a way for children to express themselves and see what they are interested in, so Thomas took that to heart and decided to become an artist. He enjoys every kind of art, but his favorite form of art is working with metal. Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large-scale structures. His pieces are made with steal, medal copper steal, and brass. Before he starts, he gets a flat sheet of metal, then he thinks of what he wants to do, and when he figures it out, he cuts it the metal. Next, he heats up the metal, and lastly the metal rises up to a vessel type to form adding texture.
His general style of work has been based off the ocean and fungi. Thomas believes that the those combinations make his pieces have more of an angelic feel to them. Out of all his pieces in the gallery, his favorite was the blue one ( Giant Blue Clam) right in the middle of the gallery because when he created the color, he didn’t expect it to look like that. He states that the blue color he created was like a discovery.
Thomas explored that metal can be moved and manipulated to reflect the organic shapes. By using metalsmithing techniques, he artwork that gives homage to these inspirations. Biological life inspires him the most because he believes that life is full of random and creative things. His high school teacher inspired him the most because that is where he first took metal classes and his teacher showed him how to do everything. His favorite artist is Alexander Calder because of how abstract he is and how is artwork moves in different directions. I really enjoyed his work because I like how his work is based off the beach and I like how abstract his pieces are.