- In “Helm,” Andrew Hayes uses a book’s pages to create a unique sculptural form, then freezes it in steel. Credit: Blue Spiral 1
When Andrew Hayes decides which books to purchase at a thrift store, he doesn’t bother opening them. The words inside have no bearing for Hayes; it’s the edges of the pages he’s interested in.
Once he’s back in his Asheville, N.C., studio, Hayes will cut up the book and experiment by bending it into different shapes. “The mass of pages is so appealing and flexible in a way I wish steel were,” he says. Once he finds a shape he particularly likes, he uses metal to bind it into place.
Hayes has been exacting in perfecting his unique approach, working for a time as a welder—“I wanted to make sure metal-working abilities would not interfere with my concept,” he says. And a 2007 fellowship at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina gave him the freedom he needed to focus exclusively on his art.
There is so much that appeals to Hayes about books: the history, the smell, the tactile reaction of fingers to the pages. He wants his pieces to whisper, not scream. “I’m trying to accomplish quietness in my work,” he says. “I hope to stop a person for a second.” Hayes’s work is available at several galleries, including Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville, N.C., the Gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Ore., and Rebus Works in Raleigh, N.C. His pieces retail for $400 to $2,000.