My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

New Orleans Smithy

4 Comments

Rachel David

Blacksmith Rachel David’s work makes me go all weak in the knees. Her shapes seem like they’re inspired by crop circles mixed with the growing patterns of morning glories. They perplex me, but I feel myself responding to them on an almost molecular level.

Rachel (it felt weird calling her David) makes hand-forged sculptures, architectural elements, and home furnishings like a total badass. She walks her neighborhood in New Orleans, and picks out anything she can use. The majority of her work is created from scrap metal.

“My sculptural work addresses social inequalities, environmental degradation and systemic prejudice, exclusion and oppression. It is inspired by my dreams, my life and body, the landscapes I pass through and the processes of metalworking I employ. The whole pattern is one I hold close and repeat as a method of living with conscientious care, keeping in mind the carbon footprint of my own practice and trying to create opportunities for people at the margins to participate.”

-Rachel David Artist Statement

Rachel was one of the founding members of the Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths, a small group of female, queer, transgender, people of color, and gender non-conforming metalworkers who support equity, diversity and inclusion in the field of blacksmithing.

You can follow Rachel David on the Red Metal website and on Instagram and Facebook. You can also check out the Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths on their website.

View this post on Instagram

40 hours in 3 days @siumetals visiting for @sims.siu annual conference and workshop. thank you. Thank you to all the participants @dotsonkevin @kraftings @tempestcraft @militantkulturtant @jannepeltokangas @justin_e_s @g.chaille_artisanblacksmith @dallasinchainz @arnbrnsn @leslietharpdesigns It was an honor to design and facilitate this group effort. Jumping hurdles and dodging wrecks together we built a stronger community that can bring us joy for ourselves and to share. photos from @siuphotogenesis and others. thank you so much as I took none. I get carried away with everything else I was asked to facilitate this group build and share the sheet forming methods I use and the volumetric forging calculators that I use to determine stock usage. Each piece, taken on by one grad student also shows their hand in the process. It was also my honor to speak about the society of inclusive blacksmiths #sibs as the 3rd woman to demonstrate and the 1st woman to demonstrate solo in the blacksmith shop I took the platform to explain the importance of inclusivity and the duty of male allies to create space for others to occupy on their own and alongside them. It was an exercise in vulnerability for me to share how terrified and insecure I am and how I feel performative when I am in the situations I’m being called to do more often. I am honored and do my best to put on a good show. If nothing else I’m thrilled to work and make new friends share knowledge and learn. Thank you #blacksmith #handforged #sculpture #contemporaryart #contemporarydesign #workhard #tryingsohard #volumetricforging #forging #nazel #forgingpress #gohard

A post shared by Rachel David (@__redmetal__) on

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

4 thoughts on “New Orleans Smithy

  1. Beautiful! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The story of their smithing community is as inspiring as this particular artist”s work. These pieces are all fantastic. They remind me of the alien designs of HR Giger, the Paris metro, and Metropolis all mashed up.

    Liked by 1 person

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