Franck Kuman is a self-taught artist whose
inspiration flows in each of his
From the tip of his feather, he
creates refined works of art,
drawing strength from his deepest
wounds. Through the power of
the materials he uses, like mirror
polished stainless steel, iron wire
mesh and fine gold and the sensual
lines of his works, he manages to
convey his deepest emotions.
They make up a world in which
art is the ringleader of his fate and
his soul is the master. Kuman has
always believed that life is a subtle
balance of determination and the
ability to let go.
This philosophy is reflected in
each of his works.
THE ART OF MIRROR-POLISHED STAINLESS STEEL
Metalwork is the art of form and structure.
Artistic metalwork is to master each stroke, even the most intricate. Each piece must be fashioned with the utmost accuracy, as once the metal is shaped, everything must fit to perfection, alterations and adjustments are impossible.
I have exclusively used a noble material; austenitic stainless steel with chromium, 2.5 mm thick.
My ideology is based on the natural and the authentic. I have removed all that is false, garish and superficial by following traditional arts and crafts and ancestral savoir-faire.
THE 5 PHASES OF CREATION
- Phase 1 – Sketches
– From the draft drawings, I create templates for the creation of the molds. This is performed with extreme precision, this is essential for the assembly of the different parts.
– Hundreds of sketches are required for the most complex works.
- Phase 2 – Creation of the molds
Two types of molds are necessary:
- The steel molds for hot-forming the stainless steel that must withstand heat of over 3000°C from blowtorches and welding and should be solid enough to withstand hundreds of hammer and mallet blows.
- The hardwood molds hold the 3 mm diameter stainless steel mesh to shape with hundreds of screws and nuts, as the mesh cannot be heated.
- Phase 3 – Shaping the pieces
Two complex shaping processes:
- Shaping the solid stainless steel pieces is the most difficult aspect of artistic metalwork; it requires expertise on heat science and the physics of the materials, as the stainless steel must be manually maintained at a fusion temperature of 1200°C for precise assembly.
- Shaping the mesh which must be meticulously held to the desired form before each wire is individually soldered.
- Phase 4 – Finishing stage
This long, delicate phase requires between 10 and 12 different manual processes before the final stage of mirror polishing, as all traces of welding and hammer blows must be completely smoothed away.
This phase is akin to crafting jewelry.
- Phase 5 – Assembly of the sculptures and pieces of art
Each piece must be assembled to create the final sculpture or piece of art. It is the extremely high quality achieved during the 4 previous phases which will result in the excellence of this complex structuring process.