July 2008. "The Lonely Goldfish," sculpture by Otto Bacon.
Header image: "The Lonely Goldfish," sculpture by Otto Bacon

Featured Artist: Otto Bacon

Portrait: Otto Bacon

Otto Bacon

You can go for months and not hear a word about blacksmiths, and this month we have two and they both live and work right in this area. At one time every town had a smith, hence the very common last name. Today we live in a plastic world, and the metal we use is commonly stamped out by machine. A modern blacksmith is engaged in a labor of love. His work is an art form. You have to really go out of your way to become a blacksmith. Otto Bacon has been smithing for about ten years and has branched out from traditional ironwork techniques using a forge and anvil, to processes that utilize machine tools, plasma cutting and several forms of arc welding. This combination of techniques allows him to form iron into nearly any shape imaginable. He also likes to recycle materials, as in the license plate clocks in the Alberta House Shop. Look for his show in the Mini Gallery in November.

Otto studied at the Campbell Folk School and took welding 101 at Ferris State College. He is a member of the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America and the Michigan Artist Blacksmith Association. He is a regular contributor of articles on metalworking to Machinist Workshop, Home Shop Machinist and The Upsetter and his work was featured in the February issue of Machinist Workshop. His shop is called “Whiskey River Forge” and you’ll see him and his wife Sandy Spiewak in the Sault Summer Arts Festival in a booth called “Whiskey River Forge and Fiber.” He took the Aarre Lahti Design Award in last year’s festival. You can see his work on his website (http://wrforge.com), in the Alberta House Shop, at the Sault Summer Arts Festival, or (his latest project) at the Three Mile Road veterinary office (check out the sign). Whiskey River Forge is located on Forrest Side Road in Brimley.

Works by Otto Bacon
Click on a thumbnail to see a larger version.

Lamp by Otto Bacon

This appears to be an attack bunny. You can’t buy it. It was made for a friend.

The Lonely Goldfish, sculpture by Otto Bacon

It floats! A contradiction in terms
from the Blues juried exhibit:
The Lonely Goldfish

License plate clock by Otto Bacon

License plate clock

License plate clock by Otto Bacon

License plate clock

Glass-top table by Otto Bacon

Glass-top table

Gate and yard bird by Otto Bacon

Gate and yard bird

Last updated: July 1, 2008

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