Flag Forge is a modern blacksmithing shop run by Cathi Borthwick. She creates functional art pieces for the home using traditional and modern blacksmithing methods for working hot steel. Below is some more specific information about Cathi and her work.
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND Education related to blacksmithing has been a pick-up affair, learning from other smiths, at conferences, and an occasional class at the John C. Campbell Folk School, combined with many hours of practice at the forge.
INFLUENCES/ARTISTIC STATEMENT Steel is a magical medium to work with. When it is at a working heat (2000°F), it is the consistency of modeling clay and can be worked into all kinds of wonderful, flowing forms. When it cools, it returns to its rigid state and leaves you to wonder just how it could get into the shape it’s in. The final product can be both beautiful and durable, a work of functional art. Ironwork is enjoying a renaissance both in the public eye and in the number of individuals interested in working the metal. Therefore, there is quite a bit of creative energy flowing in my medium, a challenge and stimulation to create new work.
SPECIAL MAJOR SHOWS I have participated in many major juried shows including the Beverly Hills Affaire in the Garden, the Park City Art Show, the Contemporary Craft Market, the Southwest Arts and Crafts Fair, the Sun Valley Art Show, and as an invited artist at the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Arts Festival and Columbus Art Festival. One honor for Cathi was to be invited to be a demonstrator at the 1986, 1996, and 1998 ABANA (Artist Blacksmith Association of North America) conference (a three day biennial international conference for blacksmiths.)
TECHNIQUES While I am willing to include modern metal working techniques (MIG welding, gas welding, etc.) in my work when appropriate, most of the work is done using traditional blacksmithing techniques. The metal is heated in a forge (gas, not coal) and hammered into shape using an anvil, hammer, and various hand tools (both purchased and made by me).
OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION My work has appeared in Metropolitan Home, Bon Appetit, The New York Times Magazine, and San Francisco Magazine. Work has been purchased by such individuals as Dudley Moore, James Taylor, Dwight Yokum, and Julian Lennon.