Thank you to Pratt Fine Arts Center and Lisa Geersten for hosting a blacksmithing demo for our Maker Faire committee members and for this special guest blog post. Lisa is a badass! Join her and Pratt as an exhibitor at the 2016 Seattle Mini Maker Faire. This is the final week to apply! Deadline: June 20.
Interview by Heather Olson
Lisa is the Metal and Stone Studio Manager at Pratt Fine Arts Center, where she has been a blacksmithing instructor since 2007. She is a full-time artist blacksmith/fabricator and owner of Firelight Forge in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, WA. She has been working with metal since 1999 and her commission work ranges from architectural fabrication to site-specific sculptures.
Tell me why you are excited to participate in Maker Faire this year.
Because it was so awesome last year! I’ve done the Mini Maker Faire before for two years as Firelight Forge, but last year was the first time I organized the Pratt booth and it was really exciting. We could have more than just blacksmithing. We had lots of art demos including printmaking, stone carving, plaster casting, and flame working. Seeing the excitement from the crowd and being able to tell people about Pratt and all the art that we teach there was really great. We were really able to educate people and spread the word.
What kinds of things will be at the Pratt booth this year?
Definitely blacksmithing. People really like to watch that. We are also planning to have stone carving and woodturning demos, as well as flame working. Everyone likes fire.
What’s happening right now in your studio at Pratt?
At Pratt, we have the highest enrollment numbers that we’ve ever had—especially in blacksmithing and welding. We have lots of great bronze art being made, and have a special bronze casting class with Master Artist Judith Caldwell. Judith and her husband Daniel helped to design and build the playground at Seattle Center near where the Mini Maker Faire is held.
What are you working on in your studio?
I just finished a large botanical metal railing for a home on Mercer Island, and I’m getting ready to do a demo for a blacksmithing group in Ohio. I’ve been working on transforming a pottery tiles into metal. It’s challenging! I’ll be using steel, copper, aluminum brass and bronze. It will look really cool!
What would you say to someone who has never heard of Maker Faire and is thinking about going for the first time?
I’d say definitely go! You will be inspired. I think the coolest thing is that it spans such a huge range of things—from high tech to blacksmithing. People sew, they make wood sculpture, they build circuit boards, drones, a motorized couch. There’s everything you can imagine and more.
Thank you to Pratt Fine Arts Center for their partnership for the 2016 Seattle Mini Maker Faire!