|Humans began to smelt and work iron in about 1000 BC. Blacksmithing is an ancient and highly skilled art. For a good part of our existence we have relied heavily on the Blacksmith for all of our tools from needles to weapons. We are familiar with and comforted by the lines and shapes created by quality craftsmanship. When people see my work I want them to feel an emotional response. I want them to feel connected to the beauty created by the lines and shapes, both positive and negative, in the design. I couple ancient techniques and joinery with contemporary ideas in order to touch the place in you that instinctually remembers the Blacksmith.|
Although I do sometimes work with nonferrous metals such as copper and bronze, my favorite metal to work with is wrought iron or mild steel. Wrought iron is an iron alloy with a very low carbon content. Before the development of steel making,wrought iron was the most common form of malleable iron. Wrought iron has not been produced on a commercial scale since before 1950. Because the manufacturing of iron and steel has changed so much over the years, I love to work with recycled material. Recycled steel has a history, whether it came from a bridge from the early 1900's, a barn, an old cart or a railroad trestle, it carries in itself the formula and materials from the time that it was made. Different recipes have been used over time to make steel and each recipe when forged behaves differently. Early wrought iron is much softer than steel and will often tear and split while being forged to create interesting textures. Once it cools it becomes strong enough again to use in many applications.
I work in iron but I love the effect of joining metal with wood, stone or glass.I also enjoy working with artisans who specialize in other media.
Whitethorn Hardwoods is a local business that specializes in Native California Hardwoods. All of their wood is sustainably harvested and they themselves are invested in educating others about the importance and benefits of sustainably harvested, locally milled native hardwoods.