joyofprecision asked: Hey just wanted to say you do awesome work. Blacksmithing has always interested me, but I've never tried it. Some of your stuff completely blows my mind. Makes me feel like I'm cheating using machines, haha. -Max
Thanks! You should grab a blacksmithing class sometime. They’re not too hard to find. Get in the game, it’s a lot of fun. I admire your work. Both of my grandfathers were machinists and I just put my new old South Bend lathe together. I’m not a legit machinist but I appreciate the difficulty and creativity involved. It’s definitely not cheating. If they had our lathes 300 hundred years ago they would have used them!
This is an acanthus leaf I made a while back. It still has little hurricane rust on it. This is formed from sheet metal that is produced for enameling. It’s a little more forgiving than mild steel sheet in that it won’t crack as easily during the repeated planishing and creasing operations.
bitchywelder asked: I love the owl... Like good storytelling, it's always nice when you can completely convey the message with the fewest amount of lines :)
Ah thanks. I appreciate that. The owl was part design, part necessity. I had been designing things for years but as I built my shop I realized that most of my ideas really needed a power hammer to complete. (Or a lot of help.) I had to reassess what I could do, considering the tools at hand. It was a great a lesson. I needed to fill half a gallery and I was forced to be creative using simple tools and operations. What the sculpture represents is complex but the production is simple.
This is also why I love making tools. Take hammers for example. There’s really only 3 or 4 operations you use to make a hammer (depending on the style) - punch, drift, fuller, flatter. It’s a simple process but when you’re done you have have an object that fits every academic definition of a sculpture. Beautiful.
Back in 2010 I was lucky enough to able to visit the Zimmermann family studio in Germany. There’s a ton of history and decorative innovation in this shop. I admit I’m partial to modern European design (for metalwork) but I have to say I’m extremely happy that Americans are stepping up. It’s great to see so many people lighting fires. Visiting these types of places can be transforming. You get another perspective not only on the process and the work but also the mentality that drives it.