In 1998 The Blazing Blacksmith was created. Jim Whitson, as The Blazing Blacksmith creates individually designed hand-forged gates, railings, furniture and sculpture. Jim had studied three-dimensional design at Cumbria college of Art and Design for two years which was followed by nine years of practical experience in blacksmithing and sheet metalwork.
The ethos of The Blazing Blacksmith has always been to give clients the choice to enrich their homes, gardens and lives with innovative and exciting work which is created to suit their practical requirements whilst being sympathetic to the setting of the piece. Whether it is a functional piece or purely sculptural Jim strives to create work which is individual and striking.
Whilst relying heavily on the traditional skills of hot forged metalwork for the shaping and assembly of work, the use of laser cutting, mig, tig and mma welding and other modern metalworking techniques allow shapes to flow seamlessly from one to the next. This gives a fluidity and grace to his work reminiscent of natural forms from which much of the inspiration for his designs are derived.
Working closely with each client is paramount to the design process as this provides the key requirements for each commission. The wishes of the commissioner provide the source for each finished piece whether it is public art or a private commission. Much of the work of an artist blacksmith is a large and lasting part of a landscape or home. Structure and function are vital to a successful design as is the aesthetic of a piece and Jim works hard to create a sympathetic balance between these factors.
Jim works predominately in mild steel, which is the closest freely available modern equivalent to wrought iron. He also works with stainless steel, copper, lead, wrought and cast iron and has incorporated other mediums such as wood, stone and glass adding a new dimension to the structure of his decorative metalwork.