Monday: Master Blacksmith's Work Going On Exhibit
For 30 years, John Scarlett has forged his livelihood out of hot iron and steel. This week, some of Scarlett's work goes on public display at the Thousand Islands Arts Center.
Scarlett, a master blacksmith, works out of a small forge in Rossie, St. Lawrence County, where he has created hundreds of custom-made ironworks.
"If I didn't find it magical, I don't think I would have continued," he told 7 News reporter John Friot, during a recent visit to the forge.
The magic? "To take something as intractable as iron and make it soft by heat, and hammering it, where the imagination is the only limit," Scarlett said.
"With each hammer blow, you can make or break the piece."
Scarlett uses a coal-fired furnace to heat the iron, which he turns into ornamental art, much of it sold to customers in the north country.
Scarlett is 71, but has not interest in retiring from blacksmithing.
"I've heard that orchestra conductors tend to live long lives because of all the aerobic activity of conducting, and I kind of hope that's the case with blacksmithing."
A number of Scarlett's commissioned works, many borrowed from private homes, will be on exhibit at the Thousand Islands Arts Center in Clayton beginning with a reception August 1 and continuing through August 10. A hand-forged metal clothes hanger he recently created in the shape of a belt will also be auctioned off.
Thursday, May 28, 2015, Watertown, NY
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