Page 13: Bending steel - - The News for South Mississippi

Page 13: Bending steel

(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)

Blacksmith and sculptor Greg Moran will have his work shown at a June exhibition at the Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art.

He uses old techniques to create new art at his studio, Amberglow Forge in Harrison County.

Fire, hammer and anvil, the tools of the trade for blacksmiths like Greg Moran. Throughout history, blacksmiths were very important in a pre-industrial world.

"Modern industry has ruled out the functionality, but there are a lot of blacksmiths  keeping the old art alive," said Moran.

Moran fires up his forge. The heat reaches an intense level hot enough to make a powerful material like steel ready to form and shape.

"Ornamental work and art are where this is really appreciated now," according to Moran.

Moran recognizes the importance of history. He stumbled upon the nearly 100 year old machine in his studio.

"It's a 1936 Little Giant power hammer, we found this in a cornfield in Iowa. The farmer said if we could get it out we could have it. It's 3,000 pounds. We got it out," Moran said.

The artist incorporates an array of materials into his sculptures, from steel to wood to bronze. They reflect his growing up in Coastal Mississippi.

"These are boat shapes, hull shapes and sail shapes. The metaphor is the relationship between the act of sailing and making art and living life," said Moran.

Moran's sculptures will be featured in an exhibition titled "Avalon" at the Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi June 16 through August 12.

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