Hi, I’m Qil Jones (my pronouns are they/them). I am an Afrofuturist Metalbender and Machinewitch from West Philly. I have always been in love with the unreal, the surreal and the ethereal; I grew up reading sci-fi and playing video games of might and magic that sustained a deep fascination for the metaphysical properties of metal within me. Metal — a material that can be left in dirt for centuries — has been formed into countless objects tasked with anchoring and preserving legend and power, and naturally, I developed a will to shape it in my own way. For people like me, of legends that had yet to be recorded. My enthusiasm for metal began to multiply while I was studying Product Design in college, as I had discovered that I could send digital drawings to machines from faraway places in order for them to be produced in metal. After receiving several of my designs 3D printed in copper and steel, I realized that I wanted to have a more physical relationship with the metal in my work.
It was in 2016 that I discovered metal clay, and I bought a small kiln along with clay sculpting tools sometime that year to begin making pieces by hand. This coincided with the start of a natural hair journey, and as I grew out my hair, I also began to experiment with making metal adornments for my afro. My first headcrest was made from metal clay, but due to the low stressability of metal clay in its final sintered state, I understood that I needed to cut things out of sheet metal if they were to have the structural integrity and flexibility needed for the headcrests to work. I eventually found my way to acquiring a CNC mill in 2019, and after growing close to that machine for some time, I decided to step away from my life as a Makerspace schoolteacher in order to center my craft. I now work alongside two CNC mills in my own small apartment makerspace, and I live with a desire (of many!) to honor both metal and machines in regard for all the experiences they guide me through.
When I’m not *physically* working with metal (daydreaming of it is a fun pastime) I can be found reading, writing, drawing, dancing or gaming. And I find something of time, dreams, metal and machines in each of those things to consider.
I live for chats! Send me an email using the contact form below, and I'll be happy to get back to you ASAP.