Library Show 2013

Chuck Beattie, Blacksmith

Chuck Beattie, Blacksmith

A display of craft arts by local artisans is being held between Dec 4th and Dec 31st at the Pamlico County library.  Wonderful crafts in many venues will be on exhibition in the library.  Thanks to the Pamlico County Arts Council (PCAC), Pamlico County Library and Pamlico County High School for allowing us to display our arts.  A special thanks to head librarian Kat Clowers for all of her help in this show and her assistant Toni Levitt from the PCAC.

Back from Europe and SE Asia

So it has been a busy year so far.  We journeyed to Vietnam and Cambodia on a AMA Waterway’s tour in January.  It was enlightening as well as entertaining.  The Mekong River is long and muddy supporting millions of people along its way.  Above is a blacksmith from Hanoi (Ha Noi) that was written up in a 2010 NY Times article.

We also traveled on a cruise in May of many Baltic ports including the beautiful city of St Petersburg.  The Hermitage Museum was one of the finest I’ve visited.  The building itself is a masterpiece being a former palace of Catherine the Great in the 18th c.  So travel far my friends.  To paraphrase, “Travel is the enemy of prejudice.”

Craft Show at Oriental Women’s Club

While I can’t say my sales at the craft show were anything close to the effort expended it was a nice venue put on by the the OWC.  We all have to appreciate it when someone gives you an enclosed, heated space to display your wares.

I met some of the other Oriental craftsmen and enjoyed talking with them about their work.  Oriental is full of talent.

Back to Work

The long hot and wet summer is over hopefully and will be replaced by a cooler pounding weather.  The Oriental Women’s Club is having a craft show Nov 3rd I will attend.  Above is a napkin ring.  Trying to make a few other household items to show.

Summer Days

Its been a long hot summer–too hot for forge work.  But I did manage to do a little plasma cutting, welding and painting for the sunflower.  Vincent Van Gogh painted a lot of these in France before he went crazy and cut off his ear.  Seems a bit harsh if you don’t like your painting.  Now they speculate from new evidence that he was accidentally murdered  by some kids in his village and didn’t commit suicide.  We’ll never know I guess.  I do agree with the premise of who would ever give or sell a gun to Van Gogh given his know mental state.

John C. Campbell Folk School

I attended blacksmithing class at JCC Folk School from Apr 22 thru April 29.  I enjoy working on a coal forge as it is hotter and heats metal more readily.  Having said that I also burned a lot of pieces up in the coke.  The last three days was a course in covering, etching and acid treating metal for different finishes.  I wouldn’t recommend muriatic acid for a rusting agent as it is too caustic–use Ferric Nitrate crystals dissolved and sprayed onto the bare metal.  Use Cupric Nitrate for covering and turning copper sheet green.  I also like the use of Renaissance wax v. Johnson wax over metal.  It was developed by the Brits for polishing suits of armor in museums–and they have a lot of armor to polish.  My favorite suit was for King Henry VIII displayed in the Tower of London..  It was big and looked like it  might fit me.  It had to weigh 200+ pounds.  Poor horse that had to carry Henry!

Back at work

I took the winter off after Hurricane Irene blasted us at the end of August.  All is repaired except for a few dents and holes in the outbuildings including the shop roof.  I have an upcoming blacksmithing course at JCC Folk School April 22.  My shoulder is still sore from the Fall clean-up but it should hold up.  Old age isn’t for sissies.  I like the quote I got off Facebook from Big Blue.

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
– St. Frances

Water, water everywhere … view from front stairs.

Off to Deutschland

We are off to Germany for a holiday Rhine River cruise this week.  The cruise ends in Amsterdam on New Years Eve.  We will ring in 2012 in the Netherlands watching the fireworks and enjoying the festivities.  Hopefully I can take more pictures of hand crafted ironworks by the masters of old.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all.

Added some iron

My steel supplier, Gulfstream Metal of Holly Ridge, NC,  dropped off my order in one day.  Yes, it was their regular delivery run but they treat large and small shops alike as if they are the same.  Eddie the driver got a Thanksgiving door hook for helping me stow the big sheets of steel.  Paula helped me cut the 20 footers into 8s and 12s.  When my shoulder heals I’ll be back in business.

John C. Campbell Folk School

Just returned from a fun week at John Campbell Folk School  ( in Brasstown, NC.  With an injured shoulder I opted out of blacksmithing and took a drawing course from Annie Cicalli, a wonderful teacher from North Carolina.  Drawing is important to working in metal art iron and hope it improves my perspective and products.