Welcome to the Wareham Forge, the work of Artisan Blacksmith Darrell Markewitz of Ontario Canada. Here traditional hand forged techniques are blended with original custom designs to create distinctive objects for garden or architecture. (What is called 'wrought iron work' by some.) A specialist in the Viking Age, creating reproductions for Museums and re-enactors. Offering training courses various aspects of Metalsmithing, plus instructional DVD's.
The Wareham Forge

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Atlantic Realm
'Atlantic Realm' is a series of pieces based on ideas spawned from my various trips out to the East Coast. (The image used in the 'Songs' tilte block seen below was taken the first time I saw an ocean, off Cape Breton in 1978).
I love beach combing. Not only is the environment itself cleansing for me (regardless of the weather), I have always be fascinated by the undersea world. (I started skin diving at about age 10.)
These are in fact some of the very first purely sculptural pieces I created (as opposed to objects where function was the primary criteria).
With all the Series pieces, earliest work is placed at the top.

'Horseshoe Crab Spine'
Atlantic Realm No. 1
Spring - 2007
(this object available - $150)

Many years ago I had spent hours beach combing off Marathon in the Florida Keys. The prize of that trip was finding a large tail spine from a horseshoe crab. Truly ancient creatures, at one time these animals were the dominant species on earth.
Although its been many years, that one object was certainly the initial spark that grew to the entire 'Songs of Ancient Oceans' series.
The pinches and swellings along this long tapered bar, with its intricate folds at the base, were suggested by that natural form. The metal has been left with its 'right out of the forge' fire scale surface. (Image shows the detail of the base)

'Chain of Fins'
Atlantic Realm No. 2
Spring - 2008

This piece was a bit of whimsy, rather than a more pre-meditated design. I will often end up with interesting off cuts from other projects. In this case I had a handful of these interestingly sculpted pieces when I cut down a set of hand rail elements to fit their frame. The pieces brought to mind strange squid or fish tail fins. I welded each to an length of round rod, each ending with a centred circle loop. These were linked together, inspired by the fish hook chains we had used as kids to hold our afternoon's catch.

'Kelp on Stone'
Atlantic Realm No. 3
Forged mild steel, re-bar with Natural stone
Fall 2010
(this object available - $350)

There is a spot far up the Northern Pennisula in Newfoundland that I always stop at - Eddie's Cove. Its not the absolute best spot for beach combing along that route, but dependably over the trips I almost always stop there - and almost always spot something interesting.

On my trip out in August 2010, a number of pieces of kelp had washed up on the beach there. I had recently worked up a major piece (for the Reade / Maxwell project) based on kelp. Those might have been a bit different if I had seen some actual samples of the stuff! Although my earlier work had always meant to be stylized, I was struck by the series of pockets running up the lengths of the fronds. In the water, these are small pouches filled with air, which help keep the plant upright.
On the way home from L'Anse aux Meadows, we had stopped at 'the Arches' Provincial Park. One of my companions had never seen it, and frankly I needed a short 'wake up' break from driving. The beach there is composed of wave rounded stones, ranging from egg to head sized. I was struck by the complex flowing patterns on this piece of granite.
Right off the start, I had envisioned using the stone as the focal point for a sculptural piece. In the end 'Kelp on Stone' is the result.

Who is Darrell Markewitz?



Unless otherwise indicated :
All text and photographs © Darrell Markewitz, the Wareham Forge.