The Process of Forging Metal  
The hammering of metal—by hand and with mechanical hammers—has been practiced for over two thousand years. The Old Testament phrase “By hammer and hand all arts do stand” is believed to be a reference to the importance of blacksmithing in making tools for the other trades. For hundreds of years every town, village, and neighborhood supported a local “smithie” that supplied and repaired various necessities ranging from wagons and plows to elegant architectural ironwork for palaces and cathedrals. Although these local smithing shops are rare today, their one-time predominance in our world lingers linguistically in such expressions as “strike while the iron is hot” and “too many irons in the fire.”

My forge in Monroe County, Indiana is secluded in 60 acres of hills and forest. Decades of gathering old blacksmithing tools and learning traditional European methods have provided a foundation for the work I do with my assistants today. I have literally hundreds of hand tools, many of which I made for special creative effects. When appropriate we use power hammers built in the early 1900's to facilitate forging heavy parts.

Every candle holder and wine rack, as well as most elements of the furniture and architectural pieces you see on this web site, started out as a straight steel or bronze bar. The metal is repeatedly heated and hammered until the desired forms are achieved. This is labor-intensive work but it lets me use dynamic shapes and tapers in my designs that cannot be made any other way. The final flowing shape of each piece is bent by hammering by hand on one-of-a-kind projects and is pulled around custom bending jigs I make for repeated designs like candleholders and wine racks.

Many of the clients who have commissioned architectural pieces from me have visited my shop both as a way to see in raw form the elements that go into the creation of their piece and to connect with the age-old process of forging and shaping metal that is an inherent aspect of all my work.

We live in an age of spiritless and impersonal mass-produced goods. My goal is to make beautiful things that will bring pleasure to their owners.
 
   
Jack Brubaker Designs | 5035 Earl Young Rd
Bloomington IN 47408 | USA
812.323.0705 | jack@jackbrubaker.com
   
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