Wednesday, November 2, 2011

to Help or Hinder?

Artists know other artists, other's who dabble in paint or a different material, maybe some just learning and others who have mastered their crafts.  We are a family.
   I have no secrets to my craft.  I will share my experience with anyone who cares to listen, show you my shop, my bending jigs, my work table, how I do things.  I do this because it is my nature and because it is good for business.
   My craft is Ornamental Iron and there are only two responses.  Someone sees my work, or another artist with the same skills and pauses with amazement, enjoying what was created and thinking maybe he might like something similar.  Or they don't.  I think of that old adage where if I do a really good job a client might tell one of his friends and if I do a bad job he will tell all of them!
   I think Art is contagious.  I live in an extended community of almost 200,000 people.  When I began this effort in steel there were very few Ornamental Iron structures worth noting.  No distinctive gates, not a single nice arbor to be found, not much of anything.  Two places in town sold steel and neither sold ornamental iron components.
   I knew that in order for what I wanted to do to become successful I had to create a demand.  After learning the trade and two years of practice I took my wares to the local Home Show.  I bought a big booth and filled it with Ornamental Iron pieces,  stuff that this community had never seen before.  It was a big success and I spent a lot of time talking with metal fabricators, mostly the industrial side of welding.
Now, almost twenty years later there might be six of us.  There are some really nice Ornamental Iron works in town.  The two metal supply stores carry a line of iron components and there is plenty of work for everyone.  Sometimes we get a thrill out of trying to outdo each other!
   Any art is the same.  No one would want their paintings in a gallery surrounded by junk.  I think the better one artist does the more inspiring it is to all of us.
   So this week I am helping a friend.  He is a good metal smith with a lot of skills but has never created a large entry gate.  There is more to one of these than meets the eye.  The art is in the structure and each element provides strength and all of this begins with setting the posts.  There is a lot to know.  A sagging gate that does not work with ease is not impressive and bad for business for everyone.

My Gates are HERE

1 comment:

conservativelybohemian said...

Quite honestly, Jer, my hope and goal is to one day have you make me a set of stone posts. I love the ones you've shared here and as soon as I'm certain of where we'll land, that is what I want to have you make for me. Of course, between shipping and materials, not to mention time, I know this could be a pricey venture. But still, I've never seen anything like the stone posts you've built and I've been in love ever since!