Ed Mack is known among colleagues for his wide-ranging interest in innovative technologies and new design ideas, and for his love of sharing resources freely. As the founder of the artisan group Fine Architectural Metalsmiths, he developed educational programs for colleagues at the national level, introducing new techniques and processes from other fields. Mack collated a literature resource guide from the libraries of fellow smiths as a resource for the national organization. He worked as a behind-the-scenes contributor to NOMMA membership growth in the 1990’s, and was instrumental in starting the Northeast Chapter of NOMMA, with active educational events and information-
In 2003, Ed Mack founded the Center for Metal Arts to pass on the knowledge of metalsmith masters to a new generation of makers. Always a visionary, he introduced the innovative blacksmith educator Uri Hofi and his ergonomic blacksmithing system, and sponsored workshops with Charles Lewton-Brain and his inventive foldform process. For the wider weekend audience in search of experience in working with one’s hands, Mack also developed the school as a way to provide lay access to the metal arts
“I have been fortunate to attend this school many times over the past 7 years,” said presenter and award-winning artist Art Ballard. “I always come home feeling I have done something special. My batteries are recharged. It was during these 4-5 day workshops that I was able to spend time with this man who so generously and unselfishly gave his time and knowledge, and did so with such humility that it overwhelmed me.”
The Center for Metal Arts continues to host fundamentals courses in the metal arts, along with master classes for advanced students. The Annual Charles Lewton-Brain Conference is in its fifth year this summer, featuring the Canadian foldform inventor who is this year’s honored Governor General Crafts Award recipient. The Center for Metal Arts is online with blog commentary at www.centerformetalarts.com, and also has a Page on Facebook.
The Center for Metal Arts is affiliated with the working fabrication studio of Fine Architectural Metalsmiths, where Mack’s artisan team has won 25 Top Job Awards and the “Best of the Best” Ernest Wiemann Award, as nominated by a jury of peers. The studio has won awards for works ranging from cast bronze to art furniture, sculpture and forged architectural ironworks. The studio, located in the former 1890’s Borden's Creamery Icehouse in the black dirt farming Village of Florida NY, is open by appointment for a tour of the metal arts gallery, antique tools, and “sketches in iron” of metalwork studies. Ed Mack’s studio is online at www.iceforge.com and Facebook, and can be reached by phone at (845) 651-7550.
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Fine Architectural Metalsmiths is an award-winning metal arts studio, with an artisan team working in all aspects of contemporary and site-specific architectural metal arts. The studio specializes in bringing new ideas to the design process, merging traditional technique with new motifs and technologies. Fine Architectural Metalsmiths does architectural blacksmithing and hand-work in ironwork, cast and forged bronze, copper, aluminum and specialty metals.