JACK BRUBAKER DESIGNS
JACK BRUBAKER DESIGNS
Artist: Jack Brubaker
Jack Brubaker has been a full-time artist-blacksmith since 1970. He has exhibited extensively in North America and in Europe. His kinetic sculpture was included in the Friedrichshafen Exhibition of Forged Sculpture in Germany. Jack's work is in many collections, including those of Joseph Hirshhorn, Ali McGraw and others.
Jack holds BFA and MFA degrees in art from Syracuse and Indiana Universities where he studied painting, printmaking, photography and art history. As a child he studied at The Art Institute of Chicago. However, his most important education came from within his family. He began studying oil painting and drawing at the age of five with his grandmother, Mary Brubaker, a respected Chicago painter. His great-aunt Edith Keith was a bowl turner and painter, and his aunt Miriam McGrew was a painter and silversmith. Jack grew up in his grandfather's and father's wood and metal shops, watching them create useful objects that grew out of a basic belief that they could invent and build better goods than were available in stores. Their interest in designing new ways of doing things continues in Jack's forge where he builds many of his own tools and machines.
"My forge in Monroe County, Indiana is secluded in 60 acres of hills and forest. Decades of gathering old blacksmithing tools and learning traditional European methods have provided a foundation for the work I do with my assistants today. I have literally hundreds of hand tools, many of which I made for special creative effects. When appropriate we use power hammers built in the early 1900's to facilitate forging heavy parts.
Every candle holder started out as a straight steel or bronze bar. The metal is repeatedly heated and hammered until the desired forms are achieved. This is labor-intensive work but it lets me use dynamic shapes and tapers in my designs that cannot be made any other way. The final flowing shape of each piece is pulled around custom bending jigs that I make.
We live in an age of spiritless and impersonal mass-produced goods. My goal is to make beautiful things that will bring pleasure to their owners."
- Jack Brubaker