Brianna Kufa is a California-based artist working in metal design and fabrication. She is currently a student at California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo, studying Architectural Engineering. She began metalworking by making a large shelf for her bedroom while taking an auto body repair class in high school. She has been in love with metalworking ever since, and it remains her life’s passion. She now works out of her grandfather’s metalwork shop, with a goal of restoring the shop to its former glory.
Kufa sells bookshelves that she fabricates herself. Made from textured aluminum, the shelves dance across the wall while serving as both metaphysical and literal supports for the ideal book collection. The shelves give a whimsical twist to the idea of “functional art,” almost augmenting the content of every book on the shelf.
We believe the best art is something which not only is beautiful and says something about humanity, but which also can be used. This is why what we make is “Functional art for the unconventional mind.”
– Brianna Kufa
As Kufa has learned more about metalworking and engineering, she has streamlined her process, incorporating modelling software and computer renderings to design her pieces. Since she makes each piece to order, a bookshelf can take between two and six weeks to complete, (those with unusual designs and dimensions may take a bit longer).
Her style also continues to develop as she continues her education.
For nearly a year, I worked at the university’s wood and metal shop, helping students work on various projects. Spending so much time with all the architectural students really steered me further towards the arts as opposed to
the more structural side of things as I had initially planned, and forced me
to explore more abstract forms.
– Brianna Kufa
Kufa finds herself pulled in two directions with her metalwork. The artist in her aspires to create large public artwork, such as centerpieces for public plazas and squares across the southwest. These pieces would be the culmination of her skills in structural engineering and metal fabrication. She is particularly interested in exploring more complex forms in nature, and intriguing concepts such as the formation of thermic lift.
Her more practical side leans toward fabricating high-end stainless steel and aluminum projects as a contractor. She revels in taking on the most challenging specialty metals and cladding, almost as an homage to her grandfather’s work ethic. He had a saying that encapsulates her viewpoint of the work: “If anyone can do it, let anyone do it. I’ll take the hard stuff.”
Her work can be seen most recently at the Vellum Furniture Competition and Exhibition in San Luis Obispo. She also sells in boutique shops around California, and features her work at fairs and local shows. You can pick up one of her stunning pieces in Kukun’s Shop.