‘Instruments of Pleasure’ was made in response to a ‘call for entries’ for an exhibit titled Food: Friend or Foe. The exhibit was promoted as “featuring work that examines the complex relationship that we have with food — whether it be a personal examination of food and our bodies, or one with a more political focus such as food production and distribution.”
I created an oversized knife, fork, and spoon, and titled it ‘Instruments of Pleasure.’
Although the title is somewhat edgy, I suppose the actual artwork wasn’t sufficiently angst-ridden or controversial enough for the exhibit. I received a rejection e-mail and moved on with life…
‘Instruments of Pleasure’ now hangs in the dining room of a private collector in Austin, TX (which, as most folks know, is one of the most exciting cities in America!).
The sculpture attaches to the wall via a tubing-and-nesting technique, making the sculpture appear to ‘float’ off of the wall. (A note to installers: The handles of each of the utensils have each been marked on the bottom side of their lower tubing sleeves with either an F (fork), K (knife), or S (spoon) to facilitate matching each handle with its appropriate utensil.)
‘Instruments of Pleasure’ is made from hand-hammered 16-gauge sheet steel and torch-welded 1/4” round rod. Installed, the piece measures approximately 60” tall x 40” wide x 4” deep.
I’m pleased to have been asked to design and build a sculpture and lead the international team to build it at International Forging 2020 in Argentina. Taking place in the city of Buenos Aires, fellow blacksmiths and I will share the skills of restoration and preservation.
We will have blacksmiths/teachers in our group from US, Canada, Russia, Spain, Chile, and Ukraine—this has has become a true international conference. Our goal is to share our knowledge freely, and everyone is welcome.
According to Jerry Coe, a Berkeley, CA-based blacksmith and organizer of the event, “During the past two events in Buenos Aires, we have trained 150 blacksmiths and awakened the trade skills that have been lost in the area. This has brought the attention of Argentina’s national education program and gained recognition from the Ministry of Culture about preservation and restoration of Buenos Aires historic architecture and national museums. We have gained support from Buenos Aires’ US Embassy.
In preparation for the 2020 event, we are organizing into teams to approach the teaching of our craft in a thorough manner. We expect 200 students to attend. Many of the students will be professionals and have small businesses of their own.
Along with classes in tool making and traditional artistic smithing, we will have a class discussing design, bidding, and presentation and the class will delve into determining economic rent/shop overhead. We will also have a forum to discuss ecological approaches to blacksmithing and creating sustainable environmentally friendly products."
This event began in 2016 and has occurred every 2 years since that time.
Forjadores Argentinos is a group that was formed after the inaugural event in 2016. This Facebook group serves to keep the Argentinians connected and to share projects, meeting announcements, and foster connectivity and collaboration.
Elegantly simple design. No wonder I made two of them!…
This steel tripod base and stone top brings a fresh look to its surroundings — whether that be a guest room or an office sitting area. Sturdy, stable, AND good looking — If only we could all be that way…
I used 3" x 1" tubing for the steel legs, and the stone is 1.25" thick.
These round side tables measure about 19” tall, with a diameter of 20”.
Stained glass in jewel tones was custom-slumped as diffusers in this front porch light.
To begin, 3/8” steel plate was bent to convex on a fly press, then the edges were upset to give depth to the steel.
Before slumping the stained glass diffusers, molds/forms of the openings needed to be made. The stained glass was then slumped into these forms, allowing for a proper glass-to-steel fit on the steel plate.
With minimal points of attachment at the wall, this fixture seemingly ‘floats’ off the wall.
Front porch light with slumped glass measures 22” tall x 9” x 6” deep.
The forged elements topping this fabricated gate make an affordable yet custom touch at this beach house.
The central forged element references a whale’s tail in a subtle nod to the house’s seaside locale.
Whale Tail gate measures 48” tall x 32” wide x 2” deep.
This fireplace screen nestles perfectly in its fireplace nook, inviting guests to fall under its spell...
Leafing through a woodworking magazine, a wood tabletop with forged legs caught my client’s attention. He wanted to emulate this table. He would make the tabletop, and I would make the legs.
These table legs were originally designed by California-based blacksmith Daniel Dole. Although the table leg design was already established, there were still issues to be addressed for this particular project.
I was recently commissioned to create original artwork in rooms which practically all conference attendees at a downtown Austin hotel will visit.
The artful objects: trash cans. The location: the conference room bathrooms.
Azul, the rooftop pool bar at the Westin Austin Downtown, offers a 20th-floor view of the Austin skyline facing Lady Bird Lake.
Now incorporated into that view is a sleek steel-and-granite table which I’m pleased to have designed and installed.
Incorporating beauty into everyday life is a lofty goal of mine. So when I found an absolutely gorgeous granite remnant, the challenge was on.
And that’s how a 12”-wide piece of stone -- a mere sliver -- was made into a functional coffee table.
Back stories and latest goings-on in the studio