Seven physical grails hand forged from 24k gold, silver, bronze, copper and iron. This series explores the historic symbolism of grails as well as the recent interpretation of the term by NFT enthusiasts. In contrasting raw physical process with layers of intangibility, and playfully depicting the contexts in which we experience NFT art, one may consider what grants the status of "grail", to what categories of art it can apply, how that collective agreement is influenced by social cues and distribution medium.

Presented as part of Grails Season 3

Silver Grail

A grail forged from pure silver. Forging is the process of heating a metal until it becomes malleable, like clay, and can be shaped with hammer and anvil, or other means of force. Forging is distinct from casting, where a metal is melted and poured into a mold. Forging naturally gives rise to forms of a unique character, such as organic lengthy protrusions that would be very difficult to cast.

In this design, a vessel and leafy base are grasped and held mechanically in place by vine-like appendages. Some of the lighting variations in the photography emphasize the symbolic connection between silver and the moon.

Gold Grail

Gold is expensive, but just as noted for the iron cauldron, the symbolism of the material far outweighs its cost. Gold is valued in many cultures for its unique properties. In its purest form (24k), it is delightful material to work with: extremely soft and malleable, and of a rich hue nearly orange.

Here, the symbolism of gold goes beyond luxury or gaudiness, something I attempt to emphasize through a design that reflects simplicity and natural form. Something evoking powerful ritual symbolism, more at place in pagan magic than in the hall of an emperor.

A tripod base of three "branches" is held together mechanically, passing through each other like through the eye of a needle, supporting a fragile domed shape suggestive of an egg, a recurring symbol in myths of creation.

Iron Cauldron

The belief that the Holy Grail can heal or provide eternal youth is likely based on the cauldrons of Celtic Mythology and their life restoring powers. This small iron cauldron is made out of overlapping curved steel sheets, held together by rivets. Cauldrons were often traditionally made this way due to the difficulty of shaping a single piece of iron into a deeply recessed form. The drawback is that they often leak; this one is no exception.

Lowly iron is among the most common and abundant metals on earth. However, the cost of the material is not as important as its symbolism. Just as Rumpelstiltskin spins straw into gold, blacksmiths pride themselves on using primitive tools to transform raw base materials into something of beauty or utility.

Using fire, hammer, and anvil to spin scraps of iron into an object of powerful ritual magic: like alchemy, the ultimate purpose is not the forging of objects, but rather the forging of meaning.

Copper Grail

A hand hammered vessel and variations of stands forged from pure copper.

Forging is the process of heating a metal until it becomes malleable, like clay, and can be shaped with hammer and anvil, or other means of force. Forging is distinct from casting, where a metal is melted and poured into a mold.

The vessel is hand hammered from a thick sheet of copper. One stand is of riveted construction, the other a coiling formed from a single flat bar.

Bronze Grail

A grail forged from bronze. Bronze is an alloy of copper, with a deep lustrous color. Neck and vessel hand forged from a single piece, with riveted base.

Being reflective, metals are difficult to photograph and sensitive to lighting conditions. The forging process produces a pattern of overlapping facets that reflect in interesting ways in rotating light, bearing the mark of a unique hand made object.

Discount Silver Grail

A stout grail fabricated from pure silver. Things don't always work out as planned. Experimenting with methods of joining silver, mistakes were made. Rather than tossing it, leaning into the aesthetic produced this stout vessel of unique and strong character, offered at a steep discount. A grail in all respects. Scream of a deal.

Some of the pieces in this series explicitly depict the social contexts in which we experience NFT art, whether that's in public places, art exhibitions, or social media documentation of those events.

These pieces are rare 1/1s in the series. Grail of grails.

Grail Sale
Grail on Building
This is not a Grail
Grail Framed and Hung
Grail on Wall
Grails Abound