Hand forged ironwork, it’s not just for breakfast anymore. It is not a disappearing or forgotten art. It is alive and well and can add to any setting when tastefully designed and well executed.
Okay, so what is it, really?
Iron is a material acquired from the earth. It is used structurally but also as a medium of expression. It is a fascinating material, hard and difficult to work, made plastic and dangerous by fire, capable of great beauty provided the smith is clever and stubborn enough. Iron can take virtually any shape and be finished in any color. It can be formal, whimsical, eclectic, mundane, or sublime.
My love affair with ironwork began in 1979 with a seminar led by master blacksmith, Francis Whitaker. He inspired me not only with his techniques, but also his love of the material itself. Francis was 73 at the time and had trained under blacksmiths in the U.S. and in Berlin, Germany in the 1920’s. Because of that, there is a thread of historical symbology that runs through my work. But a student’s job is also to expand on what the teacher has to say, and I have grown new branches with my own expressions in iron.
An old saying goes “between the hammer and anvil is a bad place” meaning you are in a tight or bad situation. But I think of it in different terms. There are dreams waiting there that have not yet been dreamed. There are an infinite number of beautiful shapes to be found there and we’ve only scratched the surface. My dream is to make the most beautiful hand forged ironwork that I possibly can.
It is a hot, magical, dirty, whimsical, frustrating, exciting craft.
It is hard work, and so is my joy in it.