“When I began blacksmithing in 1995, my intention was to learn the traditional techniques of joinery and the forging of iron. I was fascinated that a material such as steel or iron when heated to a certain temperature, could be stretched, twisted, molded and shaped by hammers, dies, and other implements to execute change. Once I felt I had accomplished a certain level of expertise, I was able to move forward into the creative environment of design, where my focus has become the purpose behind the elegance. My interest and my fascination have continued to grow as my understanding evolves and as the metal continues to reveal new ideas and challenges.”
“Drawing upon a brief education in clothing design, ten years as a quilt artist, and a deep love of gardening and the natural landscape around me, this medium has offered a new voice for expressing wonderment. My wish is to convey the dichotomy of steel – the amazing malleability underlying the strength. I have come to understand that as I grow emotionally and spiritually, I am enhancing my expression of grace and that grace, in turn, is enhancing the lives of those experiencing my art.”
Susan Bond’s interest in ironwork began in college, when she started shopping flea markets for pieces of forged metal work. Only later did she learn that her grandfather had left the coal mines of West Virginia as a young man to work in structural steel and after a construction accident, in ornamental iron.
Born and educated in Virginia, she began training in the blacksmithing trade in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995. There, she worked with several smiths over two years learning traditional forging. She attended Robb Gunter’s School of Forgery in Tijeras, N.M., in 1996 and later worked as an apprentice to Christopher Thomson in Riberas, New Mexico, for 2-1/2 years. Susan has trained and worked with numerous other smiths, expanding her knowledge of traditional techniques and custom design. In 2002, she opened her first studio in the foothills outside of Santa Fe, while teaching a blacksmithing course for three semesters at the Santa Fe Community College. Susan has custom work across the country, including in Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, California and Idaho. She is currently living and working in Boise, Idaho.
Formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Music History, studying piano, flute and fiddle, as well as an emphasis on several languages. For her style and fluidity in iron, Susan draws inspiration from her training in clothing design and work as a quilt artist. When she’s not quilting, many evenings find her relaxing with a little back porch picking on her fiddle.