John Byde: Original Water Brass Art

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Other Mediums

When John Byde was four years old, he developed a unique fascination with water. He floated things in it, experimented with it, and as he grew, it became a vital part of his life—from his time spent teaching white water canoeing, to logging as a lumberjack on frozen lakes, to firefighting during hot summers.

And, along with his other interests in surveying, free energy studies and learning computer systems such as CAD, John discovered his own, scientific medium of art, incorporating water, electricity, and brass.

“Water brass art came about as I wished to measure the charge in spinning threads of water,” John said. “I wouldn’t have made this serendipitous discovery without my other interests in subtle energy and power generation from water.”

I imagine that Zinc Meets Pink (seen below) slightly resembles what it might look like inside a human being. There, arteries act both as endless pathways and foundational structures of the very being of life.

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Note the crimson red “veins” outlining each of the fleshy traces of pink. They are surrounded by webs of beige lines busily darting here and there, perhaps acting as the presence of “zinc” within this image. From surprising lavender swirls to tiny, angular lines connecting everything together, even to the abrupt changes in color and patterns, everything about this piece is curious and intricate—just like the human body.

Other than his descriptive titles, John typically avoids creating obvious conclusions within his work. Yet, of all his pieces, I see the most coherent imagery in Sirian Plains.


Across a frozen lake, dark mountains reach jaggedly toward celestial skies their purple-shadowed peaks. Large sweeps of fog and clouds signify movement and strengthen my impression of a constantly spinning, gravitational pull uniting us all together.

The sky’s expanse of darkness directs the eye outward to a cosmos of epic proportions—one which is almost impossible to comprehend, ultimately leading us back to that feeling of uncertainty regarding John’s artwork.

Last but not least, Crab Shell is a close-up view of colors, scratchy textures, and etchings that strikingly resemble those you’d find on the shell of a particularly lively crustacean.


Multiple gray clusters resemble tiny barnacles hitching a ride on the shell, while small, baby blue circles toward the upper right-hand corner appear almost like water droplets. The maroon-colored scrapes and fading vibrancy of yellow and orange suggest this shell has been roughly treated, whether from predators or simply from being tossed in the ocean’s waves.

To learn more about John’s creative process, take a minute to explore his website. There, you’ll be able to see just how he creates his vibrant, abstract pieces.


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