About Me
My philosophy in less than 1000 words

urbanIron
Form + Function

It is not easy for me to describe all the aspects of what I do and why I do it in a concise and clear way. I'm going to try, but please forgive me if I ramble or somehow follow an inexplicable tangent. I really don't want to use marketing words and phrases to talk about my very personal process. (Dang 1st tangent)

For some years, I've been making custom hardware and furnishings for interior designers. I still do. It can be boring, but it can also be rewarding. Making hardware involves more than just aesthetic considerations. It takes time and thought to make it work properly and install easily. Making things that are interesting to look at but that also work is what drives me to make things. I am driven to make things, and if it weren't for the economic imperative, I would happily aspire to the life of the mad potter of Biloxi. I would just make things and put them in a shed or give them away. Sadly, I need to eat.

There is another aspect to my work. The aspect that brought me to this venue. I have leftovers. Steel, iron, aluminum, brass, bronze....all the materials I work with come in predetermined sizes and shapes and there are always leftover bits. I could take these leftover chunks, called scrap, to the scrap yard for recycling, but I see that as incredibly wasteful. The process of making metals consumes an enormous amount of energy. Giant furnaces and cupolas, transporting raw materials to the other side of the planet, milling and finally transporting the newly finished product take tremendous energy. There is really no such thing as "green" manufacturing, but there are more and less wasteful ways of manufacturing. I have chosen to follow the less wasteful path by using my scrap pile to make things whenever possible. For the things I make on this site, I use materials from my scrap pile or sometimes, used or broken materials. At any rate I don't buy any new material to make these objects which is, perhaps, why they don't seem to be entirely consistent. The size and form of the scrap and the idea floating in my head mix together to determine how the thing I end up making will look. Small cut off bits often lead to smaller objects. Larger scrap lets me make larger things. Broken and damaged nuts and drill bits are born again as rings and knives. I really love this transformation from useless to useful. The transformation of garbage by fire. Every object a metaphorical phoenix rising.

The last thing I want to say about my process is that often the finished product looks nothing like the original material. This is a particularly special transformation to me. I think it is hard to imagine in metal, but it is akin to the knitter taking a string and making it into a blanket. You can see the string in the blanket, but it has been entirely transformed. The transformation is a beautiful thing. It takes power and focus and determination and just a little bit of magic. It is a profoundly positive and uplifting experience and a gift that stays in the object. It is the gift that every artisan gives to every object. It is present in every hand made piece.

My work is often deliberately rough. We live in an age of computer perfection. Things made by and designed on computers don't have the marks of the maker. I leave my mark on all the things I make. Computers don't leave hammer marks. I do.

Now back to the earthly plane.....
I have a blog and I do occasionally post. If you are interested in my process, take a look at it.

I believe in micro entrepreneurship. Thank you for supporting makers, artisans and micro entrepreneurs.

Thank you for finding me.
j