Opposites are gaining attention in the latest exhibit opening at New York Folklore on J Street.
The exhibition features delicate flowers, leaves and root systems made of heavy metal, made by the blacksmith of the Noa Khuri Metropolitan Region.
The exhibition entitled “The Blacksmith from Helderberg: The Art of the Blacksmith” reveals not only the practical side of the craft, but also its creative side. In one section, an ornamental garden bench is placed next to the metal skeleton of a prehistoric creature.
“These objects are romanticized images of the natural world around us. These familiar forms are framed and tailored into art objects rich in texture and handcrafted forms, ”writes Khoury in his statement from the artist. “It is also interesting to consider the violent and aggressive nature of the forging process as opposed to the calm nature of the item.”
Khoury is a native of Albany who first learned about metalworking at his father’s forge. After high school, Khoury enrolled at SUNY New Paltz and continued his studies at the Appalachian Crafts Center in Tennessee, earning a bachelor’s degree in metals. He started his business The Helderberg Blacksmith in Altamont in 2013 and specializes in home decor, decorative railings and historical reproductions. Khoury also teaches blacksmithing workshops at establishments such as the Schoharie River Center.
In one of the works on display, Khuri shows the process of creating one leaf, a spatula, and a small mouse. At each stage, the metal can be seen flattening, hammering and changing. In another piece, titled “From the Ashes,” viewers see a thinner metal structure as three seedlings appear to rise from the brick foreground.
Further along the exhibition, viewers can see the eurypterid, an extinct species of sea scorpions. The carapaces of two such creatures are textured copper-colored metal that appears to shimmer when exposed to light. Their limbs, if you can call them that, are muffled black, and it seems that eurypterids are swimming.
Several Khouri home decor items can also be seen, including accent tables and lamps, the latter with creeping vines and leaves climbing up the base. There are also smaller parts like hooks, bottle openers, business card holders, etc. for sale.
The Blacksmith from Helderberg will be open until the spring of 2022. The gallery is located at 129 J Street in Schenectady and is open from 10:00 to 15:30 Tuesday through Saturday and from 10:00 to 14:00 Sunday until Christmas Eve. The gallery is closed on Sundays in January and February. For more information visit nyfolklore.org or call 518-346-7008.
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Categories: Arts, Life & Art