Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ves*sels Exhibit at BMFA

The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts is a local gallery / arts co-operative in Collingwood (about 40 minutes north of Wareham). I had heard about the upcoming Ves*sels group exhibit via their monthly e-letter. I have not participated in anything there before, but did have two pieces on hand that were ideal for the theme.

(The following text is from my submission information)

Title : 'Offering Bowl' (September 2008)

Medium : forged bloomery iron

Dimensions : about 4 x 4 x 4 inches

Value : $400 - For Sale


This piece was forged from a metallic iron bloom created from raw ore at the 2005 Early Iron Symposium. The spongy bloom was intentionally loosely compacted when forming the starting billet. The purpose was to allow fractures to develop as it was flattened to an irregular sheet, especially along the edges of the form. In this way the genesis of the unique material would be revealed.
Details on an earlier blog posting

Title : 'Segmented Urn' (August 2008)

Medium : forged and fabricated antique wrought iron, copper plate

Dimensions : about 6 x 6 x 18 inches high (weight about 40 lbs)

Value : $1200 - For Sale


The body of the urn is composed of a number of individually hand forged strips of antique wrought iron (recycled from a bridge built in Ohio about 1860). I saw samples of the basic technique used here at a workshop / demonstration by the Japanese blacksmith Takayoshi Komine. (Taka uses the method to make subtle oil lamps employed in the Tea Ceremony.) The individual elements are forged to shape, then welded along one edge to create the sealed container.
Actual historic wrought iron has been chosen for the construction because of its excellent forging characteristics and special durability. The metal itself is already some 150 years old — and should easily endure for centuries more. Intended as a funeral urn, it provides a fitting resting place for the memories of one past beyond us.
Details at an earlier Blog post

About the Artist:

Darrell Markewitz is one of the few true Artisan Blacksmiths working in Ontario, with experience at the forge stretching back 30 years. Starting while a student at Ontario College of Art, it was his interest in living history (especially the Viking Age) which lead him to the forge. Echoes of Norse, Celtic and Art Nouveau lines have been blended into his distinctive 'Rivendale' style. His interest in history lead to work on a number of major museum exhibits, most significantly the creation of the 'Norse Encampment' interpretive program for Parks Canada at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC. Along with his 'historic reproductions in metals', he undertakes commissions for original art metalworks. A recent passion has been his ongoing experimental archaeology work in re-discovering lost Viking Age iron smelting techniques. Darrell operates his Wareham Forge workshop just outside Flesherton, Ontario.
For more information, check the web site:

Image : Experimental iron smelt at Heltborg, Denmark. Photo by Michael Nissen

1 comment:

Steve Muhlberger said...

The segmented urn is glorious.


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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