This new series, “Visioning” emphasizes a traditional blacksmitherly technique in the central forged element. Hot chisel-slit and drifted holes have been part of the blacksmiths’ repertoire since early times. In this unrefined state, this technique references the magic and mystery of steel and the forging process. The other elements are either feathers, whisps or chunky primal forged verticals. The colors enhance the dynamism of these forged elements as they move slightly with the wind and reach skyward.
Pulling sticks of yellow hot 2,300 degree steel from the fire and hammering them to shape before they cool fascinates and excites me as it has mankind for thousands of years. The fluidity and immediacy of forging induces the intuitive in-the-moment state from which I like to create. Many evenings after work I hike from my blacksmith shop down into the nearby wild Pecos River Canyon, swim and then improvise music on my flute. Only after its creation did I realize that the “Visioning” series sub-consciously incorporated sensibilities discovered in that music. Forging smaller pieces, the spontaneity happens automatically. Maintaining this freedom of process in larger pieces is an interesting challenge using jib cranes and large industrial power hammers. These finished pieces were powder coated snow mobile purple and 1 other color, but still exhibit my spontaneous forged aesthetic.
- Christopher Thomson