Kim Cridler’s sculptures describe branches and man-made vessels with flourishes of startling natural ornamentation. She creates open forms out of steel rods, embellishing them with the unexpected—precious metals, jewels, beeswax and horse hair. Her practice is an argument that materials matter, that the ideal of beauty in nature and craft are important, and that there is a whole world of emotions that underlies the formal evolution of design.
Cridler was raised on a Midwestern farm and explained the genesis of her work, saying: “I was making small, raised hollow ware, like that made by Paul Revere, and was fascinated with the history of that kind of work, which carried a lot of sentimental value in families. I learned about my family through these types of things… The reason they were important was the family connections, the memories and the kind of sentiment that was invested in the objects, not how they were used. I got away from making useful objects, and started making objects that were stripped down, torn apart, because I wanted to get the emotional charge these things carry.”
Cridler received her BFA in metalsmithing from the University of Michigan School of Art and her MFA from SUNY New Paltz. She also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.