Northwest Blacksmith Association

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2017-3 Hot Iron News

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In praise of ‘Thomas Wilson’s Ironwork Notebooks: Inspiration from a Master’

by Sally Adam, forward by H. Russell Zimmermann, Review by Amy Mook

Stunning and comprehensive, this book is an invaluable resource and a treasure trove of inspiration for students and aficionados not only of ironwork, but of all arts, crafts, and design. Wilson is a master artisan in the old world European sense of the term, through decades of study and apprenticeship with some of the most accomplished in the fields of drawing, ironworking, and sculpture. With tireless dedication to inquiry and practice, he has traveled widely to observe, draw and feel the masterpieces of many great artists, from the ironwork of Cyril Colnik close to home in Milwaukee, to ancient and modern European masters of ironwork and architecture. Wilson has synthesized his broad-ranging experience and phenomenal skills, earning his place as a world- renowned and distinguished blacksmith, architectural designer, and an astounding drawer. In addition, he is an important historian and archivist, preserving a vast panoply of historical ironwork with his prolific drawings.

The book is well designed, dividing the drawings into sections: seating, tables, grilles, doors, etc. This is helpful for easy reference, and many cross applications of design and technique become apparent (e.g. elements of a chair that could easily be adapted to a window grille or brackets that might become parts of a table). His drawings range from realistic to fanciful, practical to impossible, but every one shows his command of the pencil and pen and unfailing eye for detail. For those interested in how the drawings translate to forged metal, there are several photos of finished work.

The progression of drawings on each page, and in each section, reads as an instruction manual for design development. We are invited to an intimate view of Wilson’s imaginative process when we follow his torrent of ideas spilling out onto the page, leading to unforeseen solutions, unconstrained by preconceptions. Students of design and architecture, who commonly are assigned a Chair Design Challenge, will take special interest in the extensive seating section. Every possible configuration is represented, hundreds selected from thousands of his original drawings. The dreamers who imagine that innate skill and creative vision will carry them to success will be hit over the head with a reality check; work this good takes innumerable hours of unflinching dedication to repetition, experimentation, trial and error, which Wilson has pursued with a rare passion.

When you hold this book in your hands, when you turn the pages, you will know youare in the presence of the work of a great artist, an unusual mind, and an exalted passion. You will be inspired, and hopefully not paralyzed by the enormity of Thomas Wilson’s example. I highly recommend you add this one to your library!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally Adam resides in the Puget Sound region and invites inquiries at sj.adam@yahoo.com She is available to sign books or display original drawings by request.

President’s Message 2nd Quarter 2017

Hello,​ ​Everyone!
Our 2017​ ​Conference​ ​was quite successful. Folk really liked it. I wish to again thank everyone who worked so darn hard to accomplish so much! This was a fine example of teamwork among many volunteers. Hopefully even more members will want to join in our ongoing endeavors as a true “association.”

The 2018 Conference is already being worked on. We’re lining up demonstrators and a “dessert dash.” Of course there will be contests and a potluck. We still need a presentation for Sunday morning. What would YOU like to see at the 2018 Conference? Contact your Board of Directors and let us know! Just peek inside the front cover of this Hot Iron News to learn how to contact us.

As I write this, we still need a ninth Director. (Lynn Gledhill has had to step down in order to be a full-time caregiver for his Dad. Our hearts go out to him.) If you know someone who could fill this void for the remainder of this year, please step forward! Also remember – we are CONSTANTLY on the lookout for folk willing to serve on the board. Elections happen every year, per the Bylaws.
I sometimes wish we called the board something other than “the board.” I think it might put folk off. It sounds like we’re important or something. What we really are is this: a hand-full of folk who love this Association enough to help keep it in existence. We’re a timid & confused lot, but we’re a determined group who wants the best for this Association and is willing to work toward that end. If this describes you, YOU should consider serving on the board.

There’s lots of excitement among the board right now concerning Swaptoberfest. What’s “Swaptoberfest?” Check page 42 of this issue and find out! We’re soliciting a few folk to help out with the Swaptoberfest “Orphans’ Booth.” This will be compensated work. Contact Peggy Gudgell or Kellen Bateham if you would like to help out in the Orphans’ Booth. Don’t forget to start work on your mask for the Masquerade Metallique competition!
One need not wait for October for NWBA excitement: August is Maintenance Month! Each year in August we waive the Mentoring Center fee for those who will help out in the morning. This year will see more than just handle-replacements & un-mushrooming of the top tools: Professional pipe-fitter extraordinaire Jim von Mosh will lead us in upgrading our fuel system. We’ll have open forge as usual in the afternoon.

In July, after the Mentoring Center demonstration, we’ll be re-arranging the Mentoring Center. We do this annually to accommodate the public at the County Fair. Your help will be appreciated! As for the Fair itself, we’ve got a few volunteers lined up to represent our Association before the public, but we could certainly use more.

One last note: Have you noticed how BIG this issue of the Hot Iron News is? Keep those contributions coming. Active participation by folk like YOU is what’s keeping every part of this Association great!

Stay​ ​Inspired!
-Lee​ ​Cordochorea
(You​ ​pronounce​ ​that​ ​just​ ​like​ ​it’s​ ​spelled.)

2017-2 Hot Iron News

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Longview Outdoor Gallery

Beautifying Longview 

The Longview Outdoor Gallery program was inspired by the Visual Arts Commission trip to see the Puyallup, Washington outdoor gallery in 2009. A small task force started and has increased over the years. The City Council made a resolution to support the project and citizens and organizations have been supporting this important program.

Our Mission:
Provide a rotating exhibit of outdoor sculptures in historic downtown Longview and acquire new pieces for the City of Longview’s permanent art collection.

Our Vision:
Enhance the beauty of our community and attract more visitors and citizens to the downtown area.

Increase community involvement through volunteer programs, student education, tours, festivals, and other activities.

YOU CAN BE A PART OF THIS WONDERFUL PROGRAM!

Artists contribute sculptures to be installed at various public spaces in the city of Longview.  The pieces remain on display for approximately 2 years. At the end of the 2 years the public votes on which 1 or two sculptures to purchase for the city of Longview. The city or donors fund the purchases.  Our very own Berkley Tack installs/welds the sculptures in place.  During the loan period your sculptural work can be for sale to the public.

Visit the Longview Outdoor Garden website for more information and to see the previous and current exhibits.

Contact in Longview: Janeen LeRay  360-414-3103
or NWBA contact: Billy O (Ottaviani)  360-701-8451