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Always a favorite, this time around Dan Funderburgh brings his aesthetic for patterns and designs rooted in nature, repetition, symmetry and geometry to the cover of Diner Journal‘s 18th issue, titled “Communities, Communes and Cults.” For the instant illustration, Funderburgh created a harmonious layout of alchemy tools and kitchen items on laser-cut and engraved colored matboard. Like an alchemist transforming base metals into gold, Funderburgh takes everyday objects and through painstaking industry creates ornate two-dimensional silhouettes. Yet, as much as his art demands hard work from him, it also requires ours. The eye that does not look with haste but slowly meanders across the planes of Funderburgh’s designs will be repaid by the pleasurable surprise of his unique use of instantly familiar objects and tremendous attention to detail.
The appeal of Funderburgh’s ornamental design clearly lies in its complexity. But there is also a deeper appeal, which is the advocacy of traditional craftsmanship and the appreciation for the tools and functional objects of different eras. There is a certain dignity in making something by hand that the craftsman (or -woman) in all of us can identify with. It is not surprising, therefore, that one of Funderburgh’s creative inspirations is William Morris, father of the Arts and Crafts movement, whose often-quoted advice is, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Through his work, Dan Funderburgh opens our eyes to the beauty of many everyday household items and gives us a new appreciation for functional man-made objects as art. For additional information on Dan Funderburgh and to see more images of his work, visit his Flickr and somewhat recently-created and quite lovely Tumblr; visit his 12ozProphet site for occasional news.