Guest Blog – All art is an imitation of nature , therefore a Forgery

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Written by Juls Trussell

Dragons, Faeries, Pirate chests, with secret compartments, Giant dragonflies and ASBO Crows are just a small selection of the sculptures created from the mind of this extraordinary metal artist.

Extraordinary, as although Graham is an incredible craftsman, he also has a very modest soul.  His art is his passion. He shares his gift by creating the most wonderful sculptures, using “Metal as his pencil”

What is so very different about Graham’s metal art is his ability to add character and personality to each piece he forges. He imprints a part of himself, allowing those who commission him, to know what they have is not just any sculpture- but a unique piece of Graham.

His customers inevitably become friends. It’s important to him that the piece he creates for them will be something that has not only his imprint, but entwines with the idea their imagination had envisaged.

This makes each piece personal, a one off, truly bespoke.

Graham’s workshop is his ‘Happy Place.’ He also sees it as the place where he can become his own version of  Professor Potts. The warm hearted genius inventor, from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

To be inside Graham’s workshop when he begins to feel in tune with a new piece, is to feel the presence of a modern Professor Potts. The man that took his non- stop creative thoughts, mixed them with his wonderfully  eccentric  imagination and topped all off with wishes, not only from his own mind but from the minds of his children and turned them into something real.

All of these characters are from sheets of steel. From bolts, chains, maybe even the odd spanner thrown in for good measure …..Oh, Oh  “Is that a fire extinguisher?”   Then hammered, sweated over (sometimes adding, unintentionally, of course the odd drop of blood) and ABARACADABARA…that touch of magic that can only be sensed and felt after being allowed to become part of Graham’s workshop.

Last May, he asked me to become part of his business and now I proudly work beside him.  Oh id I tell you that we also got married on his birthday?  Now we really are one when endeavouring to establish his career as a full time Artist, blacksmith and I am Juls Thrussell.

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Graham is an extremely skilled craftsman.  A  blacksmith, toolmaker and engineer. His Father, Frank, made sure that, although he knew his son would  walk the path of an artist,  he would do it with an Engineering qualification. ‘Just in case’. It always pays to have a Plan B.

Graham is a dreamer, like most artists. Ideas, projects, the unimaginable, always walk beside him, along with his sketch pad and pencil as he tries not to lose all the wonders within his mind.

He loves what he does. He loves being inspired by his fellow artists and knowing that maybe, he in turn inspires others.

The art world is not an easy world but it is,  for Graham, the one that he feels most at home and at peace with.

You can find The Forgery’s Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/forgerymetalart/

The Forgery Website here: http://www.theforgerymetalart.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Design Inspiration for your home or office

Are you looking for modern industrial design inspiration for your home or office?

Have you thought about new ways in which you can modernise your workspace?
The trend at the moment is for the industrial design furniture so we thought we’d give you a helping hand by coming up with some suggestions, that are easy to do, and don’t have to cost the earth.

Here’s an example of how James Kemp, one of our customers, bought tube clamping to create a trendy desk at exactly the right dimensions for his room, with beautiful matching shelves.

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And below is a picture from S & L Flowers in Chichester who created an eye catching shelving display in their shop.

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Take a look at the shelves that were made on the DIY SOS programme for a teenage boy who wanted something stylish yet functional for his bedroom.

See the story here

The sky’s the limit and you can order it all from our online store.

We try our utmost to get your order to you within 24 hours and we’ll even cut it to size for you. But best of all, delivery of your order is free if its £70.00 or more.

We’d love to see your creations, so please tag us in on Twitter @TheMetalStoreUK and we could be showing off your show stopper next time around.


Industrial Design Ideas for your Kitchen

Are you thinking of creating the urban industrial kitchen design look for your home? Urban industrial décor is all the rage at the moment. Do you need some ideas?

With loft living becoming increasingly trendy, and interior designers being encouraged to make the most of the unused space, bare brickwork and steel piping has become popular with cool and trendy retailers and homes. Bars and restaurants are exposing brickwork and metal pipes, and people are paying huge amounts of money for chick and stylish kitchens with revealed pipework and lots of re-cycled timber.

There’s an easy and affordable way that you can create this look for your own kitchen, by using some of our products, so why not get your creative juices flowing and see what you can create?

You’ll get so much more satisfaction from making it yourself and it’s as easy as pie.

Some ideas that we’ve pulled together

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This butcher’s block has similar components as our desk, we’ve just substituted the toughened glass for the butchers block wood.

Need some more inspiration?

 

 

 

shelfWhy not make your own shelving for herbs and spices or your cookery books?

Just measure the size that you need and order all the pieces from our website.

 

We’d love to see what you’ve been making so please feel free to send them into us and we’ll share them on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

And if you get stuck you can always phone our helpful sales team who can advise you on the best bit of tube clamp for your project.

It’s a little like Lego, but for grown-ups!


The Dragon’s Den Seal of Approval

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Have you ever watched Dragon’s Den?  Theo Paphitis – one of the dragons, set up something called Small Business Sunday (#SBS) on Twitter some time ago. He chooses six lucky winners every week and re-tweets them on a Monday evening to his half a million followers.

Last night our phones were going crazy with the alerts from well-wishers, in particular other winners of #SBS. Apparently there’s a special club of winners, who have a Twitter community on Tuesday evenings and we’ll also be invited down to receive an award from Theo too.

The last 12 months are certainly turning out to be amazing. We were approved by Google as a certified provider because of our great online customer service, we’ve been on the telly with DIY SOS (read the story here) and now we’ve received  very welcome recognition from one of the Dragons himself.

We’ll keep you posted online with any further developments, and we’ve been warned by other worthy winners, that this week, may be a very busy week of PR activity.

So watch this space and hopefully we’ll have some well-deserved time off to watch the Tour De Yorkshire cycle race as it passes through Wakefield on Sunday.

If you own a business and you’d like to have a go, here’s link on Theo’s website to show you how.

http://www.theopaphitissbs.com/mysbs/

 


Keeping the kids happy with your metal creations

Monkey Bars Climbing Frame

Monkey Bars made from Key Clamp

As the weather changes and we start to think more about the great British summer, and the annual promise of that heatwave,  have you thought about making a climbing frame for the kids?

We’ve currently got 15% all our galvanised tubing and tube clamp and its as easy as putting together man sized meccano, so what are you waiting for?

Just order the sizes that you need together with all the right clamps to pull it together and you’re away.

We’ll even cut it to size for you and if you’re stuck and need some help just give our friendly team a call on 01274 875479 and we’ll do our utmost to get it to you the very next day.

We pride ourselves on our customer service, so we’ll do our utmost to make sure you’ve got everything you need, when you need it.

And of course, there’s nothing nicer than knowing you’ve made it yourself and when it’s up and the children are enjoying it, send us a photo. We love to see all your metal masterpieces and share them with our Facebook friends.


Guest blog – Design and Creativity in Metal

Forge 8Twenty five years ago in East London, while studying for a degree in psychology, I discovered that metal was an addictive substance. I had always had an interest in art and sculpture and though psychology wasn’t really holding my interest it gave me the opportunity to take some classes at the Slade School of Art. I also got the chance to go to Italy on an exchange program where by chance I met the Mutoid Waste Company, a group of anarchic circus performers whose spectacles revolved around incredible sculptures and machines made entirely from scrap metal on a scale I had never seen before. They had even created sculpture from a Russian Mig fighter plane in the centre of Berlin.

 

Back in London I began making sculptures at home from anything I could find. I found work with a steel fabricator where I learnt the basics of welding and shaping steel. Still with the desire to create artistic pieces I went to work for a traditional blacksmith in Kent where I learnt the magic of hot forgework, an addiction in itself.

Now, from my workshop in Cheshire, I try to keep design and creativity at the centre of what I make, whether it be a decorative gate, seating or a sculptural water feature. I take inspiration from the forms in nature such as the twisting stems of plants which seem to lend themselves perfectly to the medium of metal. I also have a passion for insects partly for their beauty but also for their alien weirdness. Traditional art blacksmithing such as the early work of Samuel Yellin http://www.samuelyellin.com/history/ is an inspiration, but I take influence from other media too, such as the wood carving of Grinling Gibbons from the 17th century and the photography of Karl Blossfeldt.

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I never claim to be a great technical blacksmith and indeed many traditionalists would not call me a blacksmith at all as I don’t use traditional wrought iron and can scarcely fire-weld. I have no formal training so have always had to find my own methods to achieve the desired result which to me is more important than the purity of the process and I am not averse to using a combination of modern and traditional methods. I forge in the ancient way using coke, hammer and anvil, but I also have a small power hammer which takes a lot of sweat out of bigger forging jobs. I use MIG welding and plasma cutters and have recently invested in a TIG welder as I increasingly use stainless steel in some of my sculptures.

After more than 20 years in the workshop, I am now looking to other interests. I have always been a writer and recently published a children’s book on Amazon called Stunt Crow http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stunt-Crow-1-David-Freedman/dp/149538750X. I’m currently working on a second. That said, I don’t think I will ever stray too far from the forge. Once hooked to the beauty and permanence of metal you can never break the habit.

http://www.davidfreedmansculpture.co.uk/

http://www.stuntcrow.com/

 


Guest Blog: Working and Teaching with Metal is a Way of Life

I am a blacksmith and an artist blacksmith. I differentiate between the terms because I feel I wear different hats according to the work I am doing.  My bread and butter work is the small scale production of functional items such as fire sets, curtain rails and small domestic items but I also make commissioned sculptural works and exhibition pieces as well as historically accurate reproduction and renovation works.

Teaching Black Smithing

Teaching Black Smithing

At the heart of everything that I do is metal. I work mainly in mild steel and to a lesser extent stainless steel (316).I work by hand on the anvil, using a power hammer for large

works. I work mainly in small diameter lengths, 6ml up to 2 inch and sheet steel. I use the gas forge most of the time though I do have a coke forge for fire welding.

It was my father’s influence that encouraged me into smithing. He was originally a sculptor in other materials but found himself increasingly drawn towards metal. The forge was the hub of our home, the smell of hot metal and grind pervaded everything. My father taught me that forging metal is more than just heating and bending. You have to work with the material; it’s like a dance, or a wrestling match. You need timing and accuracy, getting it to the right temperature and striking it in the right spot.  It is a hard material that doesn’t give up its shape easily; it needs to be coaxed firmly until it reluctantly agrees to transfigure itself. There is something incredibly magical about watching it become malleable with heat and change under the hammer blows.

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I undertook a degree in fine art and trained as a teacher but continued smithing. I was offered a contract as the blacksmith in residence at the Museum of Welsh Life where I worked for several years. I started to develop my own smithing business, Ferric Fusion,  after this, alongside working in FE as a resistant materials lecturer before leaving to build the business full time.

I started teaching smithing on weekend courses because I enjoy passing on the skills I have acquired. The monthly blacksmithing courses have become very successful and were short listed for the inaugural UK  Craft  Skills awards.

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Smithing is more than a job, it’s a way of life. When I’m not in the forge I am usually designing or discussing techniques with one of my two brothers who are also blacksmiths. My daughter has just been offered a place on a sculpture course. Perhaps she’ll be the first of a third generation.

 

Aaron Petersen, Ferric Fusion

To book a place on one of Aaron’s one and two day blacksmithing courses contact via the website www.ferricfusion.co.uk courses cost £130 for one day, £260 for two days.

To see a video of Aaron making one of his rams head pokers which was shot by heritage crafts film specialists Artisan Media  http://www.artisanco.com visit you tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdQSPCtC__Y

 

If you’re interested in being a Guest Blogger for The Metal Store feel free to get in touch with us, we’d love to showcase your work!

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