Parent Stock : The starting material. 3/4” and 1” square steel bar
I take a piece of cold hard steel bar and put it into a fire. At about 2000 degrees that bar softens enough to be formed and shaped with a hammer. Yellow hot steel moves like clay. I can not touch the material so I use tools such as tongs, hammers, fullers and chisels that I have also shaped out of steel. I shape each piece individually while it is yellow hot to the final form it will take as it cools.
Blacksmiths have shaped steel into forms for thousands of years. Most often into usable items from weapons to bridges. My training as a blacksmith gives me the skills to take advantage of the strength of the material. Steel can lend its strength to pieces creating balance. It can range from delicate to powerful. Watching the metal move I have been struck by the way that the material mimics the human form. It stretches and swells like skin. It can be hard and bony, fat or muscled.
As I work through the process of forging steel I find that the issues that weigh on my mind come through my hands to the work. I notice that when I analyze and understand the processes that humans have created and learned to accept I can begin to work outside of that accepted norm. I can begin to question. I start with a piece of cold hard steel. By understanding ancient processes I push it toward something new.