There are challenges and opportunities throughout one’s life. Let us rise to them...
I was commissioned by a thoughtful parent to create a desktop sculpture for her 12-year-old son whose beloved pet had recently died.
The sentiment I wished to convey via this sculpture is that we can and do emerge anew as we continue on life’s journey. Death, transformation, and rebirth are a natural and normal part of life.
This sculpture is not intended for him only as a young person — I hope 'Phoenix (Rising)' holds a message which proves valuable to him from this day forward.
I began this project by making sketches which evoked the emotional tenor I wanted to convey. From a sketch, I made a clay form to determine the elements’ shapes and sizes. With a clay model at hand, I was now ready to fire up the forge and light my oxy-fuel torch...
'Phoenix (Rising)' was created from mild steel using forged and tack-and-bend techniques and measures 5.5” tall x 4.75” wide x 2.5” deep.
‘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.
Wind Totem is a sculpture in my Flow sculpture series which explores movement caused by wind or water.
Wind Totem is homage to an invisible force known only by its residual impact.
The forged steel form is brazed with copper highlights and situated atop an an ash pedestal. Overall dimensions are 69" tall x 27" wide x 14" deep.
If installed outdoors, Wind Totem can be mounted directly in the ground, such as in a meditation garden or perched atop a rocky mount...
I recently celebrated a milestone birthday and gifted a sculpture to the world...
Walking Stick was first exhibited at the 2018 ABANA Conference Gallery in Richmond, VA.
This 16-piece forged steel sculpture features pin-and-wedge joinery, allowing for easy breakdown/transport/reinstallation.
'Walking Stick' was sealed with a clear lacquer finish. Final dimensions are 37” tall x 17” wide x 10” deep.
Drift is a sculpture in my Flow sculpture series which explores movement caused by wind or water.
Bursting forth from a punched plate, Drift’s three steel wisps have been tapered and slit-and-drifted using traditional blacksmithing techniques.
The negative space revealed in Drift has been carefully considered and is as integral a part of the sculpture as its physical elements.
Three punched-and-drifted steel tapers, punched steel plate, torched wood posts... Dimensions are 61” tall x 34” wide x 8” deep.
This sculpture series is underway...
To read more about the maquette on which one of these sculptures is based, click the picture below:
Guitar pick garlands from ‘Succulent Tree’ were repurposed in this wall hanging, providing color and depth to a previously bland space.
'Succulent Tree' was a 5-tiered feast of succulents, twinkle lights, mosses, and guitar pick garland!
As the Westin’s official holiday tree for 2016, 'Succulent Tree' was on view through the month of December 2016.
This slender sculpture emulates sea grasses undulating in the ocean’s current.
‘Underwater Wisps’ features textured tapers, a bulbous pod, and a hint of an anemone emerging from the base.
The compact size of this piece makes it a suitable accent for a bookshelf, fireplace mantel, or desk credenza. Or as a gift to your favorite marine biologist!...
‘Underwater Wisps’ measures 15” tall x 7” wide x 3” deep.
Back stories and latest goings-on in the studio