This is a physical representation of the artist’s aura. The reflective stainless steel which makes up the basic form is naturally reflective of light and will cause it to light up with the flames and glow of molten metal during an iron pour making it look as though it is made up of fire, similar to the wrathful Buddha, Heruka, depicted in Vajrayana Buddhism. The inside is lined with fireproof blanket, which references Joseph Beuys’s use of felt and the artist’s welding career, but it is functional as well as thematic because it provides some protection from the stainless steel that may get hot while casting iron. The blanket will also be light and fluffy looking so that it will simultaneously reference the compassionate side of the artist/Buddha that are usually depicted floating in the sky with the clouds.
The harness that holds the Aura Suit on the wearer’s shoulders is also made of brushed stainless steel, leather straps, and both iron and bronze slag. Welded to the front part is a gnarly chunk of bronze slag found off of the foundry floor. This piece was chosen for its absolute worthlessness. I find something poetic in finding a sublime use for the trash part that is thrown away when making beautiful objects. This is symbolic of the inner self.
On the back portion is a brooch-like piece of iron scrap made from a “reaction mold” symbolizes the connection that the suit has with the iron pouring experience.