Blue Mountains News
Talisman Unleashes Creative Fire
Burgeoning metal artists will create their own piece of art in the 30-minute blacksmithing session on the anvil by beating red hot steel into the shape of a fire poker, decorative wall hook or small sculpture. Extra decorative elements such as crystals may also be added.
Talisman Gallery metal artist Ron Fitzpatrick of Blackheath said the activity would interest beginners as well as those who had previously taken the Fire Poker Challenge at the gallery, located in the historic woolshed behind Hartley Historic Site.
"Creating metal art is very satisfying. It's quite physical and people love the fact they can make something with their own hands, which we don't do a lot of anymore in this modern society.''
While the location amid undulating pasturelands with the dramatic backdrop of the Blue Mountains escarpment helped, Fitzpatrick believed the attraction lay in the metal itself representing the romantic notion of a lost era; a simpler lifestyle; clearly defined values; and endurance and quality.
"It's an ancient material that comes straight from the earth. That you can make something so beautiful out of something with such strength fascinates me and draws me to it. I think it's the same for a lot of other people.''
Fitzpatrick's artistic journey began in the early 1980s, creating handmade knives and Tai Chi dancing swords in a small shop in Melbourne.
Since moving to Sydney in the late 1980s, his art and business has evolved from a need to provide for his family by making his own furniture from scrap metal to trendy inner west wrought iron work to finally settling in the Blue Mountains and Hartley.
He and Lithgow-based metal artist Steve Cunningham will be on hand to guide you through the process.''
"You remove the red hot steel from the fire, bringing it to the anvil you begin to beat the hot metal. You watch as it changes shape, yielding under the blows. Working quickly before it cools, you wrap it around a form into a spiral shape. Before you know it you have created your first piece of metal art.
"So put your phone down and come and make something!''
A great family activity available to anyone aged 13 years and older, the Creative Fire experience will be held daily from December 27 to 30.
Cost: fire poker $35, decorative wall hook $40, sculpture $65, additional elements costs vary.
Visitors to Talisman Gallery can browse the collection of large high-end pieces along with signature metal art mirrors, small affordable sculptures and candleholders and an extensive collection of imported jewellery and new crystal pieces.
The gallery, Hartley Historic Site, Great Western Hwy (400m before turn off to Jenolan Caves heading west) is open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday.
Details and bookings: Ron 0407 723 722 or Facebook page Talisman Gallery Hartley and website.
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