High End Custom Hand Forged Metal Art by MetalSmith Matt Weber
About the Artist
“There is only one way to make good decorative ironwork and that is with the hammer at the anvil. For in the heat of creation and under the spell of the hammer, the whole conception of a composition is often transformed.”
As a young child, Matt’s favorite toys were hand tools. On many warm summer days, you could find Matt in his back yard tearing down various odds and ends and re-assembling them into whatever his imagination would suggest. Fueled by his curiosity and home schooled engineering from his Grandfather, Matt’s obsession with creating things with his hands has been the common denominator throughout his life.
It wasn’t until Jr. High School when Matt took a welding class that the hook was set. Metal. This extremely hard property from the Earth can be worked like clay. It can be fused, twisted, manipulated into just about any shape your heart desires. The only ingredient is a little heat.
Jumping forward approximately fifteen years, having a good job that was paying for the tools Matt needed to make whatever his heart desired, his artistic nature flourished and commissions started to come in. Creating hand forged functional art such as Chandeliers, early century light fixtures, and Gallery sculpture. Matt spent this time learning all the skills he could. He studied with Coppersmiths, Metal Casters, Jewelers, Bronze Workers, and Blacksmiths. He also turned some of his attention to Glass and started studying glass skills such as Torchwork, Stained Glass, and Glass carvings. Matt loved the way glass moved like metal when it was hot so much he set up a small area in his studio to work hot glass. When the day was done, the pull to art was too great to continue working a full time job. Despite the fear and unknown future income, Matt left his job and went full time with Della Terra Studios ~ DTS.
Creating functional art takes the mind of an engineer, and the heart and soul of an artist. Matt attributes his shop skills and ability to engineer a project in his mind to his Grandfather. “My Grandfather is the kind of guy that can disassemble anything and fix it. He instilled in me two very important things over the years. First, if you are going to do anything, do it right the first time or don’t do it at all. And second, you are only as good as your tools. Take care of them and they will take care of you.” Examples of this work ethic can be seen in every hand forged piece that Matt creates. “We all learn from others” Matt reflects. “Our God given talents may take us to different levels, but no one just makes this up on their own. We are inspired by the world around us and the masterpieces that were created years ago. My inspiration is fed in part by those that came before me. These were the tradesmen of their time that did not know they were artists. Their work is stored in my mind and I call on it to help me carry on the tradition. My tools are old and weathered. While working in my studio my mind travels to the previous owners of these tools. Who were they? What great pieces of art or trade goods did they create with these tools? I like to think they were all like me. And wherever they are at now, they’re pleased to see their tools are still in use after all these years.