Local blacksmith Robert Thomas, of Robert Thomas Iron Design, is making waves nationally with his new book, The Art & Craft of the Blacksmith: Techniques and Inspiration for the Modern Smith. Already an Amazon Top Seller, the book has also recently been featured in The Washington Post and Garden & Gun.
In the opening pages, Thomas describes combining the rich history of this centuries old craft with a fresh, modern perspective:
“The goal of this book is to present the blacksmith’s craft within a modern, professional context: to present blacksmithing in such a way that provides the reader with the perspective on how to contribute to the world of blacksmithing techniques to create large and small pieces of functional art that stand on design as well as craftsmanship.”
His skill has earned Thomas several big time awards, including 1st place in both the Iron Work Exhibition and the Forging Competition at the 2012 Ivano-Frankivsk Blacksmith Festival in Ukraine. After graduating from the prestigious blacksmithing program at Hereford College of Arts in Hereford, England, Thomas opened his Charleston-based studio. This year alone, the Robert Thomas Iron Design team, composed of Thomas and five other local blacksmiths, has won two 1st place honors from the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association.
Although Thomas has spent years practicing the art, he believes that a passion for iron work can be universal. “A blacksmith can come from anywhere and start with any background,” he notes in The Art & Craft, “All you have to do is pick up the hammer and put in the hours.”
This Saturday, March 17th, you can get a close-up look at the blacksmith life and check out what the Robert Thomas team is up to at their Workshop Open House. The event is invite only from 1 to 5 p.m. To attend, email Natalie Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.