The craft of the blacksmith has adapted and changed throughout the passage of history. From the origins of the craft, when materials, fuel and tools were not plentiful, metal objects were usually utilitarian and much prized.
As metals became readily available, in a wide range of sizes, diversification into artistic forms of the craft has become possible. In recent times, blacksmiths have been quick to produce individual and original works, combining traditional techniques with contemporary design.
Personally, I have been fortunate to have had very open minded clients, who have given me licence to produce wide ranging styles of three-dimensional work.
With increasing freedom of expression, the blacksmith has taken more responsibility for the artistic integrity of the design.
Nothing has been lost from a craft perpective, in taking the direction of three-dimensional forgework, in fact probably more hammer work is now brought to a commission.
Because the blacksmith has so much understanding of the material and the processes of manufacture, it is only natural that the ability to produce sketches and illustrations should go hand-in-hand.
Ever increasing forms of communication, gives the modern blacksmith easy access to changes in this ancient craft.
No longer does the artist blacksmith need to work in isolation, with mobile technology at large, keeping up with trends and changes is so much straight-forward.
There is more willingness for ideas to be shared within the craft, the world wide web provides the platform for expansion of the skills base for all metalworkers.