about andrew white                           BY ANDY WHITE

Andrew White

I feel extremely fortunate to have found my life's passion; forging hot steel. I knew that I had found something special the first time I hit a piece of glowing hot metal. A native of Austin, TX, I was able to do a foreign study program in Germany and afterwards study under the Masters in metalsmithing.

After graduating from Handwerkskammer in Koblenz, Germany, I traveled through Europe to work with those that I had read about and admired. It was a dream come true just to shake the hands of these brilliant artisans. They invited me not only to assist them with their current work but to live with their families. I learned their approach to designing commissioned metalwork, that being to fit the style and aesthetics of the owner or designer. They shared forging techniques that have been passed down for generations and that have evolved into forging contemporary metalwork styles. Not only did I travel throughout Germany, I worked in a water-powered workshop in the Swiss Alps as well as shops in London, Edinburgh and Brussels. I had the ability to experience the diverse cultures, languages, lifestyles, fashion, art and architecture of these places.

As I spent time in various countries, I saw how well-designed and crafted metal work can enhance the appearance of a building; sometimes the smallest detail in the stone or metal can bring life to the architecture. There are some amazing Art Nouveau shapes around the city of Brussels that can either blend into their surroundings or have the converse effect. I have been drawn to these fluid shapes; they play a role in the design and production of my own artwork. I enjoy crafting smooth, sensual shapes that seem to embrace one another or attempt to give the metal a sense of motion.

I find inspiration in the smallest of things, those that tend to be overlooked by most in everyday life. I get inspiration throughout nature: from shadows on the sidewalk or movement of the clouds, to the wrapping of vines around a tree, or the swirl of a whirl pool in a stream. There is beauty all around us and it is constantly evolving. As you allow your mind to open and notice your surroundings, you too can see the beauty and the interesting elements that might have been previously missed. I try to "see" the world around me instead of just looking at it. My use of those shapes, transformed into an aesthetic work is my interpretation of the Bio-mimicry artistic form.

There is something magical in the ability to forge a piece of lifeless metal into a living work of art. I am fortunate to have found the world of s blacksmithing and to be a small part of this worldwide family. We may not share the same language but we share the love of what we do.