2015 International Metal Design Annual (Metall Design International 2015) by Peter Elgass
The 17th volume of the “MetalDesign International” yearbook consistently follows the new direction of the previous edition – moving away from only presenting the “life work” of famous blacksmiths by also introducing outstanding metal designers who have specialised in certain techniques, forms of expression and materials.
Liza Bobkhova and Kirill Spasskov for example are young Russian metal designers. Born in 1983 and 1987 respectively, their joint “LK art Gild” is celebrating its successes. Reclaiming the ancient trade, they represent the playful, sentimental forging style of a culture that, for a long time, was dominated by the conformity of industrial production.
Another female blacksmith, this time from Germany, is Sandra Geruschkat whose style is based on everything she learned from Hermann Gradinger in Mainz but who also lets Zen and Feng Shui inspire her. She studied metal design in
For the blacksmith Stefan Zydek with his analytical thinking and approach to his work, it was his master Alfred Schmidt from Trappenkamp who laid the foundation of his success. He struck out on his own at the age of
David Szalay takes the surrounding architecture and environment into account in his designs, assimilating the fundamental structures of the chosen materials – not only wrought iron and stainless steel, but also wood, glass, stone and ceramics. The young Czech studied at ISS Hradec Králové, followed by four years at the well-known artist blacksmith school in Turnov where he lives to this day.
When he first struck a blow on an anvil, Guy de Bruyne from
The Stawaritsch blacksmith shop is the only operation to date appearing in the yearbook for the second time. The statistics for awards at the world’s largest blacksmith convention at
The sculptures by Michael Ernst from Bechstedtstraß bring the “aesthetics of the natural order” into view. A few years ago, the much-travelled autodidact turned from simple metal sculptures to kinetic ones. His scope encompasses abstract animal beings, mobiles, wind chimes and wind tongs that produce an ideal motion with technical precision. At the same time, the details are artistically reduced to their function to such an extent that the nature of that motion is apparent to the viewer.
Roberto Magni’s ancestors have always made tools. He too at first carried on this tradition, mainly due to the fascination of fire, which he considers “the source of life”. After some time as a country blacksmith, he turned to design and got to know Claudio Bottero as a teacher and friend. This dramatically altered the approach to his work. Today he teaches at the school in Stia and mainly accepts private orders.