For North Carolina’s Rachel David, the very physical and technically demanding process of forging and forming shapes in glowing steel is her passion.
The artist: Born in New Jersey, David grew up in Maryland and graduated from Evergreen State College (WA). In 2005, she moved to New Orleans to build glass-blowing equipment. She lived and worked for years until relocating to North Carolina to 2020.
The company/studio: Red Metal, which David started in New Orleans in 2014, is now based in Waynesville, NC. The artist works in a large warehouse adjacent to her cabin.
The art & materials: Metalwork, primarily forging. But also forming and fabricating custom furnishings, sculpture and architectural elements, such as gates and railings ($150 to $150,000). Custom or limited-edition pieces are mostly steel.
The tools: Pneumatic hammers, both stationary and hand held, and other tools that look like hammers. Also a gas forge.
- Brutalist architecture
- Social and environmental issues
- 2022, Nominated for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant. Winners will be announced in the fall or winter.
- 2021, James Renwick Craft Society Chrysalis award. The award was created to promote and inspire US-based emerging craft artists.
- 2019, Best in show and Artist Gold Choice award at the Smithsonian Craft Show.
- 2019, Featured in 40 Under 40: The Next Generation of American Metal Artists at the Memphis-based Metal Museum.
What’s next: Exhibiting at the 46th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Nov. 11-13.
Where to buy: redmetal.net
- Instagram: @__redmetal_
(Note: Thanks to the American Craft Council for Images of David in her studio)