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CanIron VIII Demonstrator: Sandra Dunn


Kitchener, Ontario, Canada


Demonstrator Bio

Sandra says of her development as an artist blacksmith; “I played in the ravine as a kid; explored the forest and surrounding fields. I was thirteen when, thanks to Robert M. Persig, I took my ten speed bicycle apart and put it back together again. I canoed through Algonquin Park as a teenager, worked in the bush clearing portages with a chainsaw, I tree planted and at twenty worked on a trap line for a winter. There’s something profoundly rewarding about having to rely on one’s senses and ability to problem solve in order to simply survive: to light a fire for warmth, to cook and navigate through unknown territory. It is the pleasure I derived from these experiences as well as the enormous satisfaction that comes from physical exertion that drew me to blacksmithing.”

“The structural forms of natural objects - plants and animal, none of whom are asking to be seen (they simply exist) - compel me to study, draw and imitate them. They embody the perfect balance of form and function. I studied fine art and I’ve been designing and forging architectural ironwork for sixteen years now and feel as though I’m only just beginning to find my may to something interesting.”

For her demonstration, Sandra has created a design for a chair that relies on the structural properties of wood and metal as well as a really interesting technique for shaping wood using hot metal and paraffin wax. In conjunction, she will give a lecture on design that will use this chair design as a starting point for discussing architectural ironwork.

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