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Charlie Hill

I am an artist blacksmith who works predominantly in forged steel to create large sculptures. Excited by process, I love to experiment: if there was no audience to look at my art, I would still make it. I form most of my work through large-scale fire welds, and I’ve enjoyed playing with size, exploring how a piece’s physical mass affects its process and weight. I find most of the inspiration for my work in tiny details observed in everyday life, and I have been especially focused on tension and stretch recently.

Chewing Gum was originally inspired by seeing chewing gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe. One thing steel doesn’t do is stretch, so I am actively trying to achieve this look, expressing the movement through my forging process. One of my favourite ways to achieve this is through a process called fire welding, which is how blacksmiths fuse metals. This is done at extremely high temperatures, allowing me to play with the plasticity of the steel, so that it resembles hot playdough.

Pattern stretch 1,2 and 3 is the result of pattern-welding: fusing and “stretching” many different kinds of steel.

Dissertation – Crafting with Tacit Knowledge, Science or Magic?