Artist Statements & Resume
At MAGIC HAMMER FORGE we build metal
furniture and architectural detail such as tables, chairs, beds, lighting
fixtures, gates, railings, grills, hardware, and small sculpture. Most of my
works are custom one of a kind commissions in a verity of styles and finishes.
I work hot steel ( iron ) by hammering it into
the desired shape against an anvil, a process called "forging". When
heated until white hot ( about 2000°f. ) iron can be manipulated as if it were
clay. Instead of using my hands to work the "magic", I
use precise hammer blows to transform the otherwise hard unyielding steel into
soft and graceful objects with the inherent beauty of hand worked art. The
interaction between the hammer and anvil imparts a texture that reflects how the
piece was made.
I like to think of myself as a "modern
blacksmith". Generally, I use a coal-fired forge to heat the steel
to forging temperature, an ancient process. I use over one hundred different
shaped hammers, dozens of tools and shapes that work in conjunction with the
anvils. I also employ modern, even space-age equipment like a plasma-arc cutter
and an electronic microchip controlled welding shield. I love the irony ( excuse
the pun ) of combining both the ancient and modern technologies in my work. I
feel that almost any tool, when used properly, by a conscientious crafts person,
will help to produce the artists' vision.
I have had a lifetime adventure blending
craftsmanship and art in many different mediums. My father, Cushing, was a
"rock hound" and jack-of-all-trades who introduced me early in life to
lapidary and jewelry work as well as more general trade work.
These crafts led me to experiment with stained
and etched glass as well as sandblasted and carved wooden sign work. In the
realm of metal I have ventured into bronze casting, welding and fitting, working
stainless steel and aluminum.
While giving a wealth of experience these other
ventures have always led me back to decorative and functional metal work. In
1983 my wife, 'the lovely Cindy' and I started the Magic Hammer Forge. I feel
that in a way I have gone back to making jewelry only on a grander scale. House
If you are one who is looking for high quality,
high end, unique handmade furniture, examples of my art can be seen by 'clicking
here'. Cindy or I will assist you in meeting
your needs, and answer your questions about our product.RESUME
You can call 985-735-0049 for an appointment, or fax us at 985-735-7236.I hope that you enjoy your visit to our web site, and come back often.
We intend to continuously update this site.
Please sign the "Guest
Book". You can also 'e-mail'
1960 to Present, A lifetime of endeavor in art
with many mediums; lapidary, stained and etched glass, sandblasted and carved
wooden signs. Work in metal includes 18 years of experience with brass and
sterling silver hand constructed jewelry; working at times with friends at
American Art Foundry making cast bronze sculpture; 4 years as welder/ fitter/
crew pusher, working stainless steel, aluminum, and steel at Boland Marine
Shipyard; and since 1985, as an artist / blacksmith forging decorative and
functional items such as furniture, sculpture, and architectural detail of iron,
steel, bronze, copper, brass, as well as found objects.
ABOUT MY CRAFT:
I am an "artist / blacksmith". I "forge" metal.
Forging is to shape metal, to change the shape of a piece of metal. To
accomplish this, I first heat the metal until it is very hot, ( around 2000° )
. When iron is this hot it takes on a plasticity that some people compare to wet
clay. To get the iron this hot I use either a coal or a gas fired forge. Next I
use a verity of hammers to hammer the metal into the shape that I desire, this
usually requires several heats and a lot of hammering. I find it to be very much
like making jewelry, only easier................and harder. I use as many as
four different anvils, over one hundred different shaped hand hammers and any of
three swage blocks. I also use a power hammer, it is a 75 lb.. air hammer that
my oldest son, Noah, and I built over the summer of '98 . Oxy- Propane torch, a
plasma cutter, a chop saw two band saws, a regular arc welder and a MIG welder
are all employed as well.
A life size copper statue of The Risen Christ, Baptismal Bowel, Holy Water
Bowels, and Tabernacle for St. Michael's Catholic Church in Vicksburg, MS.
Canizaro & Triginani Architects, Jackson, MS.
Entrance Gates for the Abney Estate in Abita Springs, LA
A complete house full of hardware (circa 1832) for C&F Properties , Ltd. New
Architectural Detail and hardware for Louisiana Timber Framing, Bogalusa, LA.
Assorted works for Barry Fox & Associates, Architects, New Orleans, LA.
Conference Table and assorted works for George Hopkins, Architect, New Orleans, LA
Hand rails and Alter piece for Christ Episcopal Church, Covington, LA.
Gazebo for Wallace Interior Design, Jackson, MS.
Gazebo & Furniture for Kevin Hunt, Franklinton, LA
Wall panels and three sets of driveway gates for Mrs. Sam Cooke, Jonesboro, LA.
Reproduction Bronze game table (circa 1910) , Lynn Brown, Pascagoula, MS.
A 75% restoration of a set of garden gates (circa 1700) , Dunbar Estate, Cape
Entry Gates for Turnbul Residence, New Orleans
Garden Gate for Dr. & Mrs. Westfall, Slidell, LA
Restoration & repair of Samuel Yellin panels, circa 1930, Zemurray estate,
Chandeliers and many pieces for Cheek - McGehee residence, Bogalusa, LA
Beds and many pieces for Dr. & Mrs. Palazzo, Bogalusa, LA
Dining table and many pieces for the Bush estate, Bogalusa, LA
Beds, tables, chairs, mirrors, fireplace tools, lamps, door knockers, small
sculptures far too numerous to list.
MEMBERSHIPS:Founder and former president of Louisiana Metalsmiths' Assn. (LAMA)
Editor of the LAMAGRAM
on-line newsletter of LAMA
Artist / Blacksmiths Association of North America (ABANA)
Member of the Board of Directors of ABANA
American Crafts Council
Louisiana Crafts Guild
Craftsman's Guild of Mississippi
St. Tammany Art Assn.
Society for Louisiana Artists in Metal (SLAM)
Louisiana Furnishings Industry Assn.
Mississippi Forge Council
Alabama Forge Council
"Best of Show" 1995 Contemporary Arts Division, New Orleans Jazz &
"Best Display" 1996 Contemporary Arts Division, New Orleans Jazz &
"Chamber Award" 1997 Three Rivers Festival, Covington, LA
"Award of Distinction" 1998 & 1999, Three Rivers Festival,
"St. Tammany Art Association" Award 2000 Three Rivers Festival, Covington, LA
"Best Display" 2003 Contemporary Arts Division, New Orleans Jazz &