Biography Artist Blacksmith
David Robertson

David Robertson Artist blacksmithDavid Robertson currently is a professional artist blacksmith. His areas of interest include contemporary designs using the steel as well as historical applications of the techniques.


A graduate of Waterloo University's engineering program, David uses his engineering background to help solve some of the design requirements of his customers. This is especially important on larger work such as gates and railings. The metallurgical component of engineering has aided him in understanding the processes involved when he creates pattern welded knives and jewllery. Each layer is a different alloy which under heat and pressure bonds to its neighbour creating a  laminated stack of different compositions. This billet can be forged to different shapes and patterns. Once the billet is forged to shape the surface is ground and polished. The last step is to etch the piece in acid to reveal the pattern.  

Organic forms such as vines, leaves and flowers also translate into the unique nature of the steel. The semifluid nature of the steel when its hot allows the flow of these modern designs. When cold, the strength of the steel permits the long selfsupporting lines that are common in the plant world. Plant motifs have been a common design element in the mirrors and furniture that David has designed for his customers. Furniture with more classical lines but still containing characteristic forged elements not found in commercial furnishings, has become a new interest.

Pedestial Table with Pottery

Since 1994 David has been teaching various courses at his workshop. These include Basic and Intermediate Blacksmithing, Pattern Welding, and New this year an Introductory Air Hammer Course.

Over the Years David has been called upon to create a number of reproductions for museums including the Royal Ontario Museum, and period re-enactors. He previuosly supplied Newfoundland Tourism with a Bronze reproduction Ring Pin. This is one of the identifying artifacts of the L'anse aux Meadows Viking site.

David's research has led him from pre-Britian Celts through the ages to the end of the 19th century. Although mild steel is the metal he most commonly works with, David has worked with bronze, copper , brass, and silver and gold.



Reproduction Baisting Laddle

 

In 1996 David was honoured to be chosen Folk Artist In Residence for Joseph Schneider Haus in Kitchener, Ontario. This position required creating a gallery showing called The Schneiders and the Smiths, which chronicled tools and techniques used by blacksmiths from ancient to modern times.

As well David did a lecture series on Smithing Though the Ages and workshops and demonstrations. This position also required further research into the 19th century Menonite culture especially related to motifs used by the blacksmith.

 

David has also had his artwork on display in various galleries in both Canada and The United States. 

Most recently he has displayed work in
  • CanironVIII 2011 in Fergus, Ontario
  • Imagine Gift Gallery, Sauble Beach, Ontario
  • Great Lakes International Iron Festival, Buffalo, New York
  • Joseph Schneider Haus's celebration of 25 years, Kitchener, Ontario
  • Quadstate Blacksmith Round Up, Ohio
  • Grave Goods, Woodstock Museum, Ontario
  • Out of The Firey Furnace at the Woodstock Museum, Ontario. 
 


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David Robertson

R.R. #2 Cargill, Ontario,

Canada, N0G1J0

519 366 2334

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