Steel is made from the elements carbon and iron. Iron is in your blood. You know what it tastes like. You exhale carbon. Steel has been the most important material in the development of humanity and in the destruction of thousands of other species. Three things laid down on this planet. An organism and two elements. And look, what a mess. But the power is unmistakable. The human hand and this material. Can we wield it with a different intent? What if we believed that humans were interdependent on the rest of the universe, bound to the rocks, plants, water and lifeforms through shared elements and DNA? If we all knew this to be true. Would we behave better? Would we see a way forward that benefits the whole system? I want to find answers with my hands in the metal. I am a human. I am complicit in the ugliness that we have created here but I am of this planet. The breathtaking beauty that I see around me everywhere, I come from that too.
I began as an industrial artist. Experience and skill with metal greatly influences my art. I am trained as a blacksmith to shape steel into tools and connections that will serve an efficient end. I have made a name for myself in the blacksmithing community by forging forms that contradict the weight of the material and the prudential practice of the craft. The strength of steel offers me the opportunity to experiment with balance and asymmetry. Its versatility provides the ability to create surprising forms. I have always been fascinated by the idea that the shape of something can create an emotion in people. I can follow the vein of iron and carbon. I can take it to a place of function, to a gate, a tool, a joint. Or I can follow it where it wants to go. Or I can do both. This is what I am trying to do. Let the metal move. Explore the forms it takes from steel bar to skin, bone and water.
Monica’s architectural and sculptural work has been commissioned and collected by galleries and private individuals. She has been featured in many publications including, Elementum Journal (UK), Fine Homebuilding Magazine (USA), HEPHAISTOS(Germany), The Anvil’s Ring (USA), and NOMMA(USA). She has been a featured demonstrator for the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America, The California Blacksmith Association, The Colorado Metal Smiths Association and many others. She was the 2018 recipient of the Victor Thomas Jacoby Award for excellence in art. Monica’s work has been featured at numerous galleries and museums including an upcoming solo show at the Metal Museum, Memphis Tennessee, July- September 2019.
We are excited to have her joining us in Ocala this year!