Sunday, April 22, 2012

Culture: Scotian Ironworks, Scott Hamlin

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. – Oscar Wilde 

A beautiful wrought iron dragonfly by Scotian Ironworks. Size is about 18" x 18".
I had occasion recently to be at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market before they opened. I was waiting for vendors to set up so decided to poke around.

An amazing door handle.
The Market boasts not only produce from local farmers (who we should support…) but also fine art and crafts from local artists/craftspeople. Upstairs is the booth of Scott Hamlin, owner of Scotian Ironworks.

Nova Scotia has an amazing artistic community that add greatly to the overall economy of the province. As artists, they do not make vast sums of money. They do it out of love and an overriding urge to create.

Nova Scotian artisans cover the full spectrum of artistic endeavour. This includes, but is certainly not limited to, ceramics, glass, rug hooking, woodworking, printmaking, sculpture, painting, stonework, folk art, and metalworking.

Scotian Ironworks is one of the latter. I have never met Scott Hamlin and he does not know I am writing this about his fine ironwork. I hope I have done his work justice.

Ironwork falls into two categories, decorative or utilitarian. Mr. Hamlin does both, and the quality of his work speaks for itself, so much so that his work was displayed at the G7 Summit that was held in Halifax in 1995.

A life changing event
Scott Hamlin is an interesting fellow from the press clippings I have read. I’m sure there’s an interesting back story to most artists in Nova Scotia. Why else would you choose a career where profit for the soul super-cedes financial profit?

The idea of creating beauty in everyday objects dates back to
at least the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 1800s.
This piece is a gate latch. It's gorgeous.
Mr. Hamlin had an accident that resulted in a skull fracture and broken neck when he was 17. He was in a coma for nearly a month. After he began his recovery he took a summer job at Ross Farm Museum, in his hometown of New Ross, working with the museum blacksmith. That job proved to be his second life-changing event. From that point on there was nothing else he wanted to do.

Mr. Hamlin believes that God saved him from his terrible accident for His glory. In thanks, Mr. Hamlin has created many pieces of work for churches. Regardless of your own religious leanings Mr. Hamlin’s faith is an admirable way to live a life.

Pre-made and custom work
Mr. Hamlin not only creates items for sale at the Farmers market but will also take commissions for custom work. One of his favourite pieces (according to a clipping I read) is a Donor Tree created for the Annapolis Royal Historical Gardens. Each leaf personally recognizes a specific donor.

Assorted candleholders.
In his own words, from the same press clipping: “If we can make people more aware of what we can produce, maybe people will be less likely to go out and buy something that’s been mass-produced.” I agree completely.

To find out more about the beautiful work offered by Scotian Ironworks visit Mr. Hamlin can be contacted through his website, or drop by the Market and speak to him personally.

Other artists in Nova Scotia
To find out about other fantastic artists that call Nova Scotia their home visit Studio Rally,

Studio Rally is, among other things, a publication/web site where artists/craftspeople pay to be included. It is an excellent overview of artists from all over the province. Just be aware that there are many, many other wonderful artists/craftspeople not included on the map.

Studio Rally is also an annual event in Nova Scotia. Every fall on a specified weekend all the artistans in the publication agree to be open. You can drive around the province, see the work and talk to the artists themselves.

Our vibrant artistic community deserves our support and encouragement, especially in these financially trying times. The next time you think of buying something mass-produced perhaps you should pause and think if you can get it (probably of better quality as well) locally.


If you like this post retweet it using the link at top right, or share it using any of the links below.
Questions? Comments? Derogatory remarks?

No comments:

Post a Comment