Click for closeup Dona Z. Meilach

The Contemporary Blacksmith

A Shiffer Book for Collectors

Hard Bound, 256 pages, 500+ pictures and illustrations.

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REVIEW  by Jock Dempsey
This is a truely wonderful Book! The quality of the photos (and the reproduction) is beautiful. Anyone intrested in metalcraft, metalsculpture or architectual ironwork will want this book. This is a great resource for decorators and architects as well well as an inspirational resource for metalworkers.

The book starts with a history of the resurgence of metalworking as fine art in the 20th Century. Then there is a brief introduction to metal working processes distilled from Dona's previous book on this subject, Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork. Meilach efficiently covers the tools, techniques and safety considerations of metalcraft.

pp.136-137 Work by Dylan Andersen, Marc Maiorana, Scott Mitchell, Dorthy Stiegler, Reul Darling and Peter Fels. pp.194-195 Work by Steve Lopes, Jack Brubaker, and Paige Davis among many others.
The hundreds of photos are categorized under Architectural Ironwork, Vessels and Containers, Furniture, Lighting, Fireplace Accseeories, Specialty Objects and Bladesmithing. The introduction to the bladesmithing section was appropriatly writen by Daryl Meier of Meier Steel who had also writen on the subject in Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork. The final chapter consists of brief statements by the artists.
Brad Silverberg
Brad Silverberg
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Craig A. Kaviar
Craig A. Kaviar
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This book is a tribute to the influence of Dona's Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork originaly published a generation ago. Many of these artist craftspeople are mature artists that were influenced so many years ago by Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork. Those craftspeople are now often the current generation of instructors. The seeds of inspiration planted in the 70's have borne fruit in the 80's and 90's. The Contemporary Blacksmith is the proof of the tradition of handing down knowledge and inspiration is alive and well. This tradition was once lost and our craft labled "dieing or dead". The works of Dona Meilach have gone a long way to help restore that tradition.
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Kotaro Kurata and Goro Hatanaka, gate detail.
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Tom Joyce forging with a Nazel 3B air hammer.
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"Fridge" by Andrew "Kiwi" Hooper, anvilfire Sysop and Producer of
iForge   -   Click for closeup

anvilfire and The Contemporary Blacksmith.

Our involvement with this book started with asking Dona if she had thought about reprinting Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork. We helped Dona locate people from the original work and suggested a few more. We also anounced a call for new photos of work for the second edition. Dona got such a tremondous response to her search that she proposed a new book. Again we ran her call for work and photo release form in the anvilfire NEWS.

Between Dona's personal contacts and public announcements she recieved a flood of photos. Some 500 craftspeople from all across the world submitted some 3000 photos and only 500 from 175 people made it into the book. Space limitations were the biggest problem, not the quality of submissions. I do not envy the decisions she had to make. She promises yet ANOTHER book to take advantage of this collection.

I am honored to have been part of this in some small way.


Published by:
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Atglen, PA

Distributed in North America by:

Price $49.95 US
ISBN 0-7643-1106-9
Copyright ©2000, 2006 by Jock Dempsey, DEMPSEY'S FORGE
Webmaster email: anvilfire! webmaster

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