Garry Johnson – Artist Blacksmith

I began blacksmithing in 2000, training for two years at Hereford College of Rural Crafts, where I gained a B.Tec Certificate and a B.Tec Diploma. On completing these courses I returned to my native Cornwall where I worked in my own forge making small craft goods and demonstrating blacksmithing skills in the Victorian forge at the Morwellham Quay Working Museum near Tavistock.

After a year I returned to Hereford with the aim of developing my design skills and honing my craft at the College of Art and Design, where I was accepted on to the Artist Blacksmith degree course – a course which specialises in the design elements of metalwork.

Whilst following this course and since its completion, I have won several awards for work exhibited at county shows and also won open competitions for artistic and modern sculptures. I have also had photographs of my work and an article published in the BABA (British Association of Blacksmith Artists) magazine. More importantly, in terms of professional development rather than kudos, I have learnt a great deal about traditional and contemporary design, as well as the skills necessary to create my own designs from natural forms and stimuli.

While I mostly work to commission, I particularly enjoy the freedom of creating sculpture and artwork for exhibitions. I have exhibited in a number of London shows and in her review of the ‘New Designers’ exhibition in Islington for the Financial Times (22-07-06), Janice Blackburn wrote that my work was “exuberant” and “sophisticated”. I have exhibited at wide-ranging venues, from galleries in London’s Chelsea and Islington, to the gardens at the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House and the Glastonbury festival.

I work from my forge in rural Cornwall using traditional blacksmithing techniques which were developed for industrial and agricultural usage, translated into a modern context to create decorative ironwork. In so doing, I aim to help preserve the ancient blacksmithing skills which might otherwise die in this technological world.

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Contact Details

garry.artistblacksmith@hotmail.co.uk

Landline – 01579 370336

Mobile – 07971461105

Qualifications

Professional qualifications

2006

BA (Hons) - Artist Blacksmithing: 2(i)

Hereford College of Art & Design

2002

B Tec National Diploma - Blacksmithing and Metalwork

Hereford College of Rural Crafts

2001

B Tec National Certificate - Blacksmithing and Metalwork

Hereford College of Rural Crafts

Awards

2003

Full bursary awarded by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths

2004

E J James Memorial Trophy for ‘Best work by an apprentice or trainee’

Full bursary awarded by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths

2005

2nd and 4th in ‘Modern Sculpture’ from the Royal Welsh Show

Full bursary awarded by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths

2006

Awarded membership of The Society of Designer Craftsmen

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