Matt Byrd sculpts Howard collection using salvaged granite

Matt Byrd sculpts Howard collection using salvaged granite

American sculptor Matt Byrd has used granite stones found in his hometown in Raleigh, North Carolina to create small abstract sculptures that fit together like puzzle pieces.

Byrd drew on the patterns and laying techniques used in traditional masonry to create the collection of sculptures, titled Howard.

Howard stone sculptures by Matt Byrd
Matt Byrd gathers granite from North Carolina to sculpt the series of abstract works

“All the materials are sourced from my surroundings,” he explained. “I’ve spent a lot of time salvaging raw granite from around my hometown and taking them back to my studio.”

Howard stone sculptures by Matt Byrd
To form the works the artist chisels the salvaged stone by hand and uses no adhesion

Each of the pieces is hand-sculpted and composed of two to four uniquely shaped pieces designed to fit together, including wavy cutouts, rounded edges and compartments and ledges formed to fit smaller parts.

Howard stone sculptures by Matt Byrd
The individual names of the sculptures are informed by their shapes and forms, including Headache, evocative of a human face

The stones are designed to rest on top of one another and fit together using no adhesion. This construction method is influenced by the artist’s love for “old school dry stonewalling”, a practice for constructing stone walls that uses no mortar.

“It is very important to me that each stone sits on top of each one without any adhesion,” he added. “Trusting nothing more than friction, bond, and joinery.”

Byrd has individually named each of the sculptures in the collection based on the shapes and objects the piece reminds him of.

Factory comprises two separate rectangular bases with cylindrical volumes that protrude from the top and sides. Small pink spheres lay on top of each circular stack as an added decorative element.

Howard stone sculptures by Matt Byrd
A circular handlebar can be pulled out of a crevice on the sculpture named Cradle

A rounded handlebar connects to a thin stick that pulls in and out of the gaping opening on the sculpture titled Cradle.

Also in the series is Cuddles, which comprises two interlocking L-shaped stones and Headache and Hips, designs evocative of human body parts.

Howard stone sculptures by Matt Byrd
For Cuddles Byrd has stacked two interlocking L-shaped stones on top of one another

Other designers working with granite include Stine Mikkelsen, who used the material and melted metal to design furniture and design studio AMOO, which created a series of side tables using interlocking slabs of the stone.

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