Whether the end product is through forging, welding or desktop method, the essence of my art lies in the black smithing tradition. Reshaping a lifeless, cold material, such as steel, is an immensely rewarding effort. Informed by the natural world, the lines in my work have been developed, and continue to grow, as a tribute. Refinement of existing techniques, exploration of new paths, playing at the forge and development of new opportunities guide my creative process. The integration of traditional forging techniques with contemporary fabrication technologies is necessary and allows for limitless possibilities. It is clear that upon completion of a piece that I have visited all surfaces and claimed them for the aesthetic enjoyment of the viewer.
BIO FOR SCOTT MCKAY
Coming into artistic metal work by way of the millwright trade I was excited to use my many skills in a creative manner. Many hours were spent on night shifts creating the beginnings of a love of creating. Much to the dismay of my superiors the first work I created was composed of the broken parts of the equipment I was maintaining.
After several years I wanted to further my abilities as welding, although a great skill to have , was limiting my creative path. I enrolled at Fleming College’s, Haliburton School of the Arts in the Artist Blacksmithing program. The experience was terrific and fuelled the fires and provided a loose map for my work. My efforts earned me the Highest Mark Award for the program.
I continued to weld sculptures and still do, but the ability to forge steel into shapes previously not found, expanded my interest and ability. Many other courses have been taken since then and taught as well.
Using the traditional methods of forging alone would certainly have me in the streets with a cup. The importance of embracing today’s technology and incorporating that to expedite and further my work is important and necessary. Computer assisted design, CNC Laser and Plasma work, off site surface treatments and modern welding techniques are all methods I employ to create pieces of work that people can enjoy…and afford. The hammer and anvil traditions will always be the focus of my shop, which is why the hammer and anvil are located in the centre of the shop!
Commissioned and uncommissioned sculpture, railings, gates, functional pieces for decor, kitchenware, lighting, tables, preparation for shows and researching new methods and creative avenues keep me busy in my shop. I even forge up a few custom pieces for the local John Deere fleet!
I also hold a Bachelors degree in Geography, a Commercial Pilots License, blow glass, play guitar and threaten people with a chanter!