Its roots are in mythology and magic. The ability to bend, shape and create beauty from cold, hard metals has fascinated mankind for over 6,000 years. Ancient civilizations held metal artisans in high esteem, if not reverence. Greeks and Romans worshipped gods who crafted at the anvil. The billows of the forge breathe life into the fire and the fire coaxes the beauty of the metal into a work of craftsmanship. The magnificence is elemental the power captivating. During America's first century, blacksmithing was appreciated more for its function than form. Blacksmiths shoed horses, made plow blades and kept farm equipment running. With the advent of the industrial revolution, the ensuing mechanization and urbanization of America's workforce resulted in the decline of metalsmithing on such a large scale. During the 1970s, blacksmithing began to experience resurgence as an art form. Young artists were exposed to the craft at institutions of higher learning and a whole new generation of metal artisans was born.
Andrew Crawford founded his studio, the Andrew T. Crawford Ironworks in 1993. A dozen years later, Andrew Crawford is an iron artisan and sculptor of renown in Atlanta. Trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, Andrew's unique works of both form and function can be found across Atlanta and beyond. From his magnificent design of functional objects, like the gates to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, to his more recent forays into sculptures for galleries, Andrew's contemporary creative genius is displayed through multiple mediums. Georgia Public Broadcasting first featured this amazing artist back in 1999. Join State of the Arts as we visit his studios again and find out what the last six years have wrought. To see more of Crawford's work or to learn more about the sculpture visit his website.