Andrea and Chuck from NC Black came to Milwaukee to conduct a micro forming workshop this past Monday. They brought all of their beautiful tools that they manufacture here in the United States to show us and do a few demos. I can't say enough about how well made the tools are and how they seem to be continuously developing their line of products. They are also willing to work with Metalsmiths to develop specific tools that address specific needs. They are a great example of what a little "know-how" and a great work ethic can do, if you're willing to exercise your mind a bit. If you haven't checked out their tools, you need to head over to their website and buy a hammer or two.
Andrea did several demos on Monday during Michael's forming classes and I think the students were really enthralled by the techniques, work, tools, and story behind NC Black. They were anxious to discuss things in my classes yesterday. I'm sure their visit is going to leave a lasting impression on the students and hopefully empower some to make a leap into starting something new like Andrea and Chuck did.
I am so thankful for NC Black's generosity in helping to develop the Metalsmithing field in a positive direction. It's not to often that I walk away from attending a visiting artist gig and am able to see the direct impact that someone is having on a larger community of makers. It's also rare to see people who are giving of themselves and sacrificing "the normal daily routine" to do something they believe in rather than promoting their own image and brilliance. Did I mention their business has created jobs for many people and there are now Metalsmiths that are getting finished with their MFA and have teaching gigs as a result of their business? Yeah, the world needs more people like NC Black!