Forging is an ancient method where metal is heated and reheated, strengthened and hammered into sinuous, extravagant curves. Through this mysterious process, artists express their creativity and skill.
Chloe Darke at Old Newbury Crafters, Mark Markley photograph
The craft of silversmithing in New England existed even before America's most patriotic silversmith, Paul Revere, made his famous ride. Old Newbury Crafters in Amesbury, Massachusetts was one of the best at the time. Fourteen generations later, it is now in the capable hands of a young metal artist, Chloe Darke. She leads the company in handforging extraordinary objects and declares "there's a rebirth of craft for people in my generation who are interested in traditional ways of making things." Retired silversmith Robert Lapham says Darke "is exactly what this company needs for the future."
Veteran and artist Jeremiah Holland, metals instructor Davide Prete, and veteran and artist Tom Pullin forge at the anvil, Mark Markley photograph.
Iraq war veteran Tom Pullin forged his life in the military, turning to the G.I. Bill to pursue training at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. For Pullin, metal work is a healing path to exorcize the chaotic, confusing, horrifying experiences of war. Pullin works with instructor Davide Prete and fellow veteran Jeremiah Holland to combine ancient techniques of forging and casting with cutting edge 3-D printing technology. They create a metal skull, a haunting reminder of a young Iraqi girl whose grave was disturbed in a search for a downed Navy man.
Albert Paley with the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital Sculpture, "The Promise". Mark Markley photograph
Albert Paley prepares for the most ambitious project of his fifty-year career: Paley on Park Avenue. Thirteen monumental sculptures will be on view on Park Avenue in New York City from June 17 - November 8, 2013. Amid the flying sparks and the red-hot steel, we witness Paley's mastery of all the processes necessary to turn sheets of metal into seemingly weightless ribbons undulating twenty feet above the ground. Paley has pursued a career that has consistently challenged his abilities. "I have a very aggressive, assertive personality and it is made manifest through the materials", Paley says. From fabricating art jewelry, to forging iron gates, to the creation of large-scale sculptures commissioned for public and private spaces worldwide, Albert Paley is now ranked among the most successful and prolific sculptors in America.