A few weeks later and I'm finally comfortable enough with it to release the .pdf version on Etsy. What is it? Why did I write it?
First, let me clarify when I say I've been working on it for a few weeks I've really been working on it for 20 years. From very early on, I've documented nearly every piece of art I ever created. All I did over the last few weeks was organize it in a meaningful way, the story was already written.
This is the third time I've tried to write this book. The first 2 or 3 pages are always easy, but somewhere between page 3 and page 20, my mind turns mushy, crippling self doubt gains control and I give up thinking, “why would I bother putting this book together, no one would ever want to read it”.
This is a book I wish existed when I first started making art. It is easy to find “best of” books and “collections” of various artists, but virtually impossible to find an artists work shown in a linear fashion as they grew. I enjoy seeing great artwork, but I'd also love to see the work that the artist learned from on their way to becoming a master.
I put together this book to show what this process looks like when written in metal. It is a story of growth, experimentation and risk. I've made a LOT of bad work in my life, and the world only see's the good stuff. It's a false presentation. For every successful piece an artist makes, there are probably 10 pieces that were complete failures.
Art is a risk taking process, and I wanted to show that process. I started making art with the belief that the work is not completed until it is documented in an image, and over the last 20 years have accumulated thousands of photographs. I distilled those down to about 200 meaningful photographs which help demonstrate growth in metalwork. Both in the aesthetic sense and maturity of subject matter.
This book is part of that tradition of experimentation and risk: this is the first edition of the first book I have ever assembled. I do not know how to write a book. I had intended to “wait until the right time” to dive in to a project like this, but waiting for the “right time” is stupid. No one is ready to take on an overwhelming task. The “right time” is yesterday, then I would be one day farther along in the process.
The .pdf version of “Experiments In Blacksmithing” is available at:
The print version should be coming out next month and will be available at Amazon. The proceeds from sales go to helping me continue to create metalwork and take on crazy endeavors like writing books.