Beersmith: Bending Metal Makes Functional Art

Although Now Beer This does a lot of beer and music pairings, there is always time to appreciate beer and AWESOME pairings. What does this mean? Well, last weekend it meant that I took part in a blacksmith class where I learned how to use a forge and make some really unique bottle openers. I also spoke to the owner about getting started as a blacksmith and some insight into teaching classes.

A Creative Evolution holds a variety of workshops to show people how to create metal works from scratch. I did the “Pop The Top” workshop, but there are some other really fun-looking ones on their website, to make a variety of functional pieces of art, from tools to firepits. Basically, some really fun things you can use while consuming some delicious craft beers and listening to great records, which is what this blog is all about.

It was definitely a very unique way to spend a morning. It is amazing how some of the simplest acts- such as hitting hot metal, can create some beautiful and functional objects. It is not as easy as it sounds, though. There are techniques to everything, and just the way you stand and hold a tool can make or a break an object. The tools themselves are numerous; sure, you’re mostly using a hammer or mallet, but the shape and size is what makes the difference between making a small bottle opener or a huge sculpture. Founder Erich Davis says, “I have always been the type of person who like to inspire people to see things a little differently…I like watching people light up when they do something new and challenging.” The workshop was definitely challenging, but a lot of fun in a very different and unique way.

Davis’ metal career began in college as a sculptor. He told me his love for working with metal stemmed from forging bronze and aluminum, and became inspired to build his own foundry. He says that showing people the ropes is a win-win situation; “I get to engage people on a personal level and offer them an opportunity to see things in a different light both through the act of making things the old fashioned way and through coaching and consulting people to be inspired to apply “the creative process” to other parts of their life and work”.

Davis says A Creative Evolution will be gearing up for classes in the new year, so that people can purchase them to give as gifts for the holidays. Check out the website here for more information on how to sign up for a workshop!

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