County Arts and Crafts Guild Show
among arts and crafts
genres displayed at annual exhibit
craftsman guild has grown
to more than 40 members
Helen E. McKinney
NEW CASTLE, Ky. (September 2009) Nick Martin
continues to view metalworking as a challenge, even though he has mastered
the technique. This young artist is seriously dedicated to keeping an
old world tradition alive in the 21st century.
Martin specializes in
metalworking, often creating
one-of-a-kind, custom-made blades.
It lets me be creative, said Martin. He uses
fire, an anvil and a hammer to forge handcrafted battle ready blades
of all shapes and sizes. He admits there is not a lot of room for error
in metalworking, but rather it requires a precise, controlled methodology.
Martin, 22, said he has always been fascinated with woodworking and
metalworking. Having had some formal training, he is mostly a self-taught
bladesmith through trial and error. His creations range from all types
of specialized knife blades and include axes, swords, spears, maces
and swallows. He can produce artistic, ornamental ironwork upon request.
I dont have a specific style, said Martin of Bagdad,
Ky. I try not to do the same things twice.
Martin has set up a forge at his home where he crafts his artwork. His
business is known as Autumn Leaf Forge. All blades are heat treated,
ensuring proper hardening of the blade.
Martin is one of many artists who will take part in this years
Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild Show. The show will be held from
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Henry County Fairgrounds
4-H Building in New Castle, Ky.
This show gets a little bigger and a little better each year,
said show chairman and secretary of the guild Sharon Silvers. This will
be the 10th anniversary for the show, which will be held rain or shine.
The community really comes together for us, said Silvers.
Sandwiches and desserts will be sold by the Henry County Senior Citizens.
A variety of medium will be represented that includes wood-turned bowls,
jewelry, paintings, hand-painted furniture, wooden toys, painted gourds,
photography, tobacco art and stained glass art. The Henry County Arts
and Crafts Guild started with a dozen members and has increased to 40
current members, said Silvers.
We really have a wide range of arts and crafts work in our membership,
said guild president Malissa Beatty. As a testament of this, Beatty
was asked by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to create a sketch of former
President George Bush to present to him when he left office in January
Guild members live in Henry and surrounding counties and two even live
out of state in Wisconsin and Michigan. These latter members have family
in Henry County and remain members so they can participate in
our fall show, said Beatty.
The fall show seems to be popular as it is the time of year when people
begin thinking of the holidays, said Beatty. They come to our
show because we have such a wide range of things to choose from.
Martin said he was first introduced to the guild when he was invited
to a meeting. He said he saw it as a great opportunity for artists and
was soon juried in. Its another outlet for me to get to
know people in a similar trade, he said. Plus, its
fun to do.
Martin is working to increase his inventory so that he will be able
to participate in more craft shows in the future. He and several other
guild members participated in the recent Renaissance Faire held in Eminence.
He is very talented, said Beatty. His work fit in
well at the Renaissance Faire. All work displayed at the faire
had to be representative of what would have been used in 13th century
Old world traditional styles, modern styles and fantasy style blades
are among Martins creations. He has crafted many fantasy blades
similar to ones seen in movies, but points out that such blades are
not practical. His objective is to turn such creations into useful items.
If I make it, I design it to be useful, said Martin who
backs his metalworking with a lifetime guarantee. If an item he has
made breaks he will fix it or make his customer a new one.
A 5160 grade steel is used for his custom made blades unless a different
grade is requested. For his Damascus products, both a 5160 and a 1075
grade steel are used because these two grades have an edge holding capability,
are tough and highly durable.
Prices for custom-made metalwork from Autumn Leaf Forge vary according
to the project. Once a design has been agreed upon by Martin and his
customer, he requires a deposit of half of the agreed upon price before
forge work begins.
For more information on the Henry County Arts
and Crafts Guild Show, contact Sharon Silvers at (502) 845-4560. For
more information on Nick Martins metalwork, contact him at (502)
321-5833 or visit: www.AutumnLeafForge.com.
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