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  • Anthony Wright

A coal forge

This summer I had the great fortune of meeting the artist and craftsman, James Garvey. Years ago, on a trip to New York City, I came across a spectacular wrought iron gate and fence. I photographed the work because this was some of the best iron work I had seen in a long time. I did not know who created the work but I was impressed. While I was an artist in residence this summer at the Art Student's League at Vytlacil in New York, they offered a blacksmithing class that met on Saturdays. I thought it would be fun to watch these folks at work so I hung around. The teacher introduced himself to me and asked if I'd like to participate but I declined, preferring to observe. Later that evening I thought I'd look online to see if this teacher had any work out there. It turns out that James Garvey, the teacher, had been the one who produced the wrought iron work I admired so much years before!

The next Saturday I told James this and we talked a bit more. He convinced me to try forging. His method of teaching is that you make 8 hooks to his instructions before you make your own work. I tried one hook and it's not as easy as it sounds. But this did get me thinking about using a forge in my own work. I visited James' studio and was so impressed with his set up.

Cut to present day... I built a forge for my studio, using what scraps I had and was able to light it for the first time this weekend. I'm not sure where all this leads but it is exciting. More to come!

James' website is

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