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."
Chloe Darke and Geoffrey T. Blake forge silverware at Old Newbury Crafters, 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 Davidé 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.
Veteran and artist Jeremiah Holland, metals instructor Davide Prete, and veteran and artist Tom Pullin forge at the anvil, Mark Markley photograph