Hot-forging iron - blacksmithing- is a craft that evokes a passion, yet demands commitment from practitioners because it is just too much like hard work to undertake lightly. In recent years it has grown and flourished, yet remains a unsung craft success story. Contemporary forged architectural metalwork can now be seen all over Britain, but the names of the makers are far less well known that those of people in other crafts. Good architectural metalwork comes into its own as part of a particular building or space. A good gate, grille or balustrade looks so self-evidently right in its setting, that is origin seems almost beyond question.
Peter Parkinson studied Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art and began a career as an art college lecturer. In 1980 he became a "born again blacksmith" and initiated a BA [Hons] Metals degree course including studies in blacksmithing. In 1992 he resigned his full time teaching post to set up his own practice as an artist blacksmith. He regularly writes articles for Artist Blacksmith magazine, the journal of the British Artist Blacksmiths Association, and for similar journals in America. He is the author of The Artist Blacksmith [Crowood].
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