|The Process of Forging Metal
|The hammering of metalby hand
and with mechanical hammershas been practiced for over two thousand
years. The Old Testament phrase By hammer and hand all arts
do stand is believed to be a reference to the importance of
blacksmithing in making tools for the other trades. For hundreds of
years every town, village, and neighborhood supported a local smithie
that supplied and repaired various necessities ranging from wagons
and plows to elegant architectural ironwork for palaces and cathedrals.
Although these local smithing shops are rare today, their one-time
predominance in our world lingers linguistically in such expressions
as strike while the iron is hot and too many irons
in the fire.
My forge in Monroe County, Indiana is secluded in 60 acres of hills
and forest. Decades of gathering old blacksmithing tools and learning
traditional European methods have provided a foundation for the work
I do with my assistants today. I have literally hundreds of hand tools,
many of which I made for special creative effects. When appropriate
we use power hammers built in the early 1900's to facilitate forging
Every candle holder and wine rack, as well as most elements of the
furniture and architectural pieces you see on this web site, started
out as a straight steel or bronze bar. The metal is repeatedly heated
and hammered until the desired forms are achieved. This is labor-intensive
work but it lets me use dynamic shapes and tapers in my designs that
cannot be made any other way. The final flowing shape of each piece
is bent by hammering by hand on one-of-a-kind projects and is pulled
around custom bending jigs I make for repeated designs like candleholders
and wine racks.
Many of the clients who have commissioned architectural pieces from
me have visited my shop both as a way to see in raw form the elements
that go into the creation of their piece and to connect with the age-old
process of forging and shaping metal that is an inherent aspect of
all my work.
We live in an age of spiritless and impersonal mass-produced goods.
My goal is to make beautiful things that will bring pleasure to their