Functional Art

“I am passionate about hot steel. I tend to get lost in the moment that the hot metal comes out of the oven and starts to be formed by the pressure that I have designed for that moment and that piece. Like a chemist, I?m driven to create the right conditions, or variables for discovery. I am of the opinion that there are still infinite varieties of new forms and processes that can be discovered and frozen in this red-hot moment.” —Jefferson Mack in his artist?s statement

Endirons 1996 (forged steel)

Jefferson Mack is a modern-day blacksmith who creates contemporary, functional art. He owns Jefferson Mack Metal Inc., a custom metal design business that creates everything from garden gates, gazebos and door handles to metal bowls and tables with watermeter valve covers, which are similar to manhole covers, for tops. Each piece that comes from the shop is individually built by one of the five or six blacksmiths working there at any one time.

Michelle Taute is assistant editor for The Artist’s Magazine.

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