The power hammer is the workhorse of the modern blacksmith shop, replacing the traditional role of the striker in moving and shaping heavy stock. These impressive industrial machines have been around a long time. Trip hammers were known in China and Greece as early as the third century BC. During the 19th century, giant steam hammers were developed alongside steam locomotive technology. Line-shaft powered, and later electric motor powered mechanical hammers have been used by blacksmiths and other metalworkers since the late 19th century. In fact, those very machines are still used in metal shops today-- our own refurbished 50 lb Little Giant hammer was built in 1918!
Rivenworks Mosaics founder Kelley Knickerbocker is a former academic administrator turned mosaic artist out of Seattle, Washington. Rich in color and texture, her work pushes the limits of mosaic material use and technique. Much of her work features stacked glass and stained glass turned on edge to reveal its striations. More recently she has incorporated twists of paper and natural stone into her work to great effect. Knickerbocker's unceasing explorations in material, shape, texture, rhythm, color, and more are fascinating, inspiring, and always, beautiful.
Forged steel is a versatile medium, beautiful in it's own right. But we also love to see the depths of color and texture created when blacksmiths collaborate with ceramic and glass artists. Here's a round-up of a few of our favorite examples.