Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Home and hearth beauty

Ironwork artist creates permanent art

Express Staff Writer

Ironwork artist Robert Wiederrick?s Sun Valley scenic fireplace screen.

As winter hits its stride in Sun Valley, the familiar smells of burning wood linger in the mountain air beckoning outdoor enthusiasts for a huddle around a fireplace. Fireplaces are a serious business, and Robert Wiederrick's talent for creating ironwork specific to a home's hearth is his business.

Since 1989 Wiederrick has been working as a black smith artist, creating fireplace screens as well as furniture, light fixtures and railings. He has been featured in "Ironwork: Dynamic Details" by Dona Z. Meilach. This is Meilach's third book on ironwork in which Widerrick appears.

"I work with a client's taste," Wiederrick said. "I try to work with what best fits their house. I don't have one style. I am an architectural chameleon that way."

Wiederrick has a display case in Giacobbi Square, but for the most part his business is word of mouth. He has created ironwork for homes in Maine and as far away as Germany.

Aside from screens and accessories, Wiederrick has had to pick-up a few other skills along the way to make his metalwork last.

"Sometimes I have had to mortar the screen in myself, and have had to learn to point in the screens," he said.

A resident of Hailey, Wiederrick is a full-time blacksmith artist and understands that, for many, being an artist blacksmith is a hobby. Although he tries very much to keep to a 40-hour workweek, sometimes projects need more time, and Wiederrick has seen an increase in his business, especially in the Boise area.

"It is a specialized field of the arts," Wiederrick said. "Some pieces have taken 100 hours to make."

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