Sandra BÉRUBÉ

Sculptor

Bronze Casting, Blacksmithing & Installations

Modern Blacksmithing

Traditionally,  forged steel or wrought iron was used to fabricate tools and objects such as gates, furniture, sculptures, tools, decorative and religious items, utensils and weapons. It is a very physical process that results in shapes and textures induced by each and every strike the blacksmith makes on the metal. It transforms raw metal bars or metal sheets into finely hand-crafted art pieces or objects, known for their durability. 

The metal is heated in a forge until it has a yellow-orange glow, which shows it has reached the point at which it is most malleable. Hand forging the glowing metal is done by hammering on an anvil and other shaping tools, using different hammers, chisels, and tongs. Tempering or hardening are techniques used to alter the hardness of the metal. Nowadays, it is not unusual to combine traditional blacksmithing techniques such as bending, upsetting, joining, and punching, with modern techniques using power tools, plasma cutting or welding. 

Blacksmithing is visceral. The heat, the noise, and the impacts are a huge part of the creation process. Control of each strike and the way of holding and moving the metal piece are crucial. Unlike factory machined steel, each piece is unique, shaped by every hit, making the artist’s creativity tangible through both finesse and hard physical labor.