pizza cutter with parmesan dispenser revolving cylinder
aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, steel, brass, ball bearings, spring steel
Manually machined aluminum, brass and bronze; CNC machined aluminum, stainless steel; CNC Jesus handles machined from 3D scan of Michelangelo’s Pietà.
Piecemaker/Peacemaker is a transformation of a 22 Long Rifle six shot revolver handgun into a common
kitchen utensil; a pizza cutter. I grew up in a household where guns were seen as tool or utensils by which
food was put on the table rather than objects that caused harm to other individuals. Thus my understanding
of the gun has been tempered by my experiences with guns and living in a rural community from a young
During my childhood, I spent many hours in my father’s shop learning how to care for and repair guns, as
my father always owned guns and would often do gun repair for neighbors as a hobby. My sisters and I also
assisted my father in his shop by knocking spent primers out of shell casings, casting lead bullets, prepping
brass for reloading, and using various types of bench reloading equipment to create bullets. These
memories encompass some of my earliest metalworking experiences. During this time I also learned how to
handle guns respectfully and would frequently use guns to target shoot (although I had little to no interest in
hunting to provide food as my father did). My viewpoint about guns was one of respect and that guns were
simply a tool that enabled my father to provide food for our family. In addition, guns provided a learning
opportunity and insight into a mechanical object that required care in it's maintenance in order to keep the tool
functioning properly, accurately, and safely.
During these formative years I also learned respect for human life and for my neighbors in my local
community as I regularly attended a Christian church that taught me about the productive roles that
individuals perform in society. These individual roles serve the function of a healthy community and the
members provide for each other through the use of talents and abilities and application of skill. Mutual
respect was the basis for the community that I grew up in.
As an adult I have not owned any guns until receiving this gun to participate in this exhibition. My
understanding of what guns represent has changed drastically after living in metropolitan cities where gun
violence is rampant and people’s lives are frequently changed forever as a result of this harmful object
(which I had previously viewed during my childhood as relatively benign).
The opportunity to engage in this conversation through the transformation of this tool into another tool or
utensil has allowed me to better understand my thoughts on guns and on humanity as a whole. It is my hope
that people would understand through viewing this work that peace is only achievable first through a mutual
respect for each other in how we interact. Any tool can be misused to do extreme harm OR it has the
potential to perform a beneficial act. The transformation of the handgun into a pizza cutter is a direct
response to the Biblical passage from Isaiah 2:3-4:
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of
the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go
forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall
rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks:
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Until the people of our world make an honest and sincere attempt to care for one another and to share in a
mutual respect for the preciousness of life, we will never be able to come together on the issue of gun
control and gun use. Piecemaker/Peacemaker is my attempt to symbolize a modern translation of the
Biblical passage above and to remind people that peace is possible if we use our talents within our
communities to effect positive change and that anything is possible if we have faith.