Eilisain aka Lisette in Gaelic

Welcome to my blog, where I document my process in making jewelry, muse on the influence of art and the joy of making beautiful objects.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A day in the life series: Leslie Tharp, blacksmith

Welcome to my new monthly blog feature, a day in the life of an artist.  I want this feature to go into detail and elucidate what a day is like in our life, as one that makes art or creates for part of their income.  

Many of you are my friends, and or acquaintances and I know that we all juggle various roles and jobs.  So this series will give the public the real deal of what we go through on a daily basis to make art or handmade objects.  

My first guest is Leslie Tharp, blacksmith and part time singer (I kid, but it's really how we bonded at Penland).  You may recognize the name as I've mentioned Leslie several times on my blog.  I have a bit of a crush on her, she's just SO amazing! Okay so here goes, I'll get to the meat of the interview. 
Photo taken by Tukufu Imagery on the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail in Atlanta, GA.

Artist name: Leslie Tharp       
Medium: Forged and Fabricated Metalwork 
Website: LeslieTharp.com

A simple yet pleasing design of a dinnertime chime.
  1. Give us an idea of how a typical day begins for you?
WITH COFFEE. So much coffee. I’m a total morning person, so I like to do all my decision making and emailing first thing in the morning, jacked up on caffeine. Once I get good and twitchy I’ll grab some snacks and head to the shop.

  1. Do you have a personal studio space or area in your home where you work?
I have an office space and painting area in my house, and a separate metal shop I work in about 15 minutes away.

  1. What are some personal rituals or habits you maintain to keep the creative juices flowing?
I try to make time for at least one all-day outdoor activity a week. Getting out to the water helps me stayed balanced. Other than canoeing and fishing, I enjoy mixing up my tasks throughout the week so things don’t get too redundant. I’ll work on one project one day and then a totally different project the next, unless I’m on deadline than it’s time to push everything to the side and werk.

  1. Who/what are your sources of inspiration?
Adventuring outdoors, attending low budget performances and music shows, obsessively watching blacksmithing YouTube videos, and carving out time to play in the shop – especially with artist friends who challenge my skill level- all this helps me to push myself and explore new ideas.

  1. Which artists do you admire and aspire to be like?
Oh man, all of them. I see craftsmanship that I aspire to in the work of so many. I see a creative understanding of resources in the field and how to attain them to support your making practice by so many successful artists who really know how to make their practice work for them. And at the same time I take lessons from those who prefer to separate the headache of funding and making their art, and just create, whether it’s bought or not.

  1. What is your favorite studio snack?
Bananas with peanut butter on top.

  1. Whose studio space do you envy?
Any metalsmith with a studio larger than mine, and especially if they have cranes and stuff. I want cranes and stuff. Oh and if it’s on a big ol plot of land. I want that too!

  1. What is your favorite time of the day to work?
LOVE this piece, it'd looks so lovely at my future home.

Another beautiful installation created by Leslie.
Thanks so much for reading and stay lovely!

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