Specific Nature of the Job of Artist Blacksmith

When preparing to make an aesthetic hand-forged article, (whether a candelabra, a fence, or a sculpture,) the artist blacksmith must carry out several stages of the job:

(1) Design
(2) Preparation of the component parts, and
(3) Assembly of the parts into a unified aesthetic composition.

Each of these steps demands special skills, knowledge and ability.


1. Design

By no means does every designer possess mastery of aesthetic design, nor is each gifted at thinking out and depicting an aesthetic, hand-forged article, because it is imperative to have specialized knowledge and tricks of the trade for the preparation of hand-forged objects. Having thought through the design of the article, the artist blacksmith applies specific tricks of the trade, assembly devices, and ties, which can impart a special visual charm to the article, and in the process fulfilling certain functions such as fastenings and connections, and in so doing, retaining the compositional choices of the design. Such devices could be riveting, collaring, use of ornamental trimming, contour shaping, splitting, and many other techniques. Now and then the master craftsman thinks up completely new devices, which, until this time, have not been employed by anyone. By instilling his idea into his preliminary drawing, the artist blacksmith thinks through the materials he is going to use, their special qualities, the sizes and forms he will use (i.e. square bar, round bar, flat bar, angle iron, sheet metal, and many others.)


2. Preparation of the Component Parts

When preparing the component parts, beyond a mastery of the specialized blacksmiths' tactics such as bending, settling, beating, ornamental trimming, and many others, the artist blacksmith must also possess knowledge of the properties of various metals, (e.g. steel, iron, copper, brass, and aluminum all require diverse approaches for working with them.) Especially in conjunction with one another, after all they each have a completely different heating temperature. In order to accomplish the preparation of the component parts, first it is absolutely necessary to prepare special contrivances, templates and tools, all of which require certain knowledge and experience. Apart from manifesting engineering aptitudes in the preparation of his tools, experience and knowledge of the properties of various kinds of steel, their temperature heating regimes.

The component parts are hand-made according to template drawing produced by the artist blacksmith in the full natural size of the prospective article or product, which is also used in the assembly of the parts into a single, unified and finished composition.


3. Assembly of the Parts into a Unified Aesthetic Composition

This part of the job demands special attention and care. Using his design as the model, the artist blacksmith is constantly evaluating the composition in real time, its expressiveness, its form, its proportions, and when necessary, applies any adjustments for its improvement, so that it may become the embodiment of his original idea and vision. By this means the master craftsman must possess a mastery, of electric welding, of gas welding, as well as mastery of the ancient technique of "forge welding." He must also have a mastery of correctly and aesthetically fastening components together by means of riveting, of collaring (use of decorative bands, applied solidly enough to hold as firmly as welding), of ornamental trimming, of splitting, of upsetting (i.e. pounding the metal so that it properly decreases in length and increases in circumference,) and proper cleaning and finishing of the article, as well as mastery of other essential techniques. In addition, the artist blacksmith must also keep up-to-date with and master all of the newest techniques of metalworking. 

As any professional artist, Sergey "signs" his hand forged products with his own touch mark. In his own words: “The Fire can be both destructive and creative by its nature. The flames of the fire, which is a natural occurence of element in any blacksmithing work, reminds me of the wings of the moth. Therefore the appearance of my touch mark is a moth's wings around a candle, giving light to all around. This light is also my slogan – Creating light – enlight the others. The wings of the moth also appeare as letters CC, which are Sergey Sakirkin's initials in Cyrillic alphabet.“


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