This week I’ve got Anna Koplik, a young blacksmith who is currently completing an artist residency at the Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pennsylvania. She talks about her BFA in Jewelry and how she became interested in weaponry during college, which ended up being her intro to blacksmithing.
Before we get to the interview I wanted to mention today’s sponsor is again provided on behalf of the New England Blacksmiths, an ABANA affiliate serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. And also will be driving the ABANA 2020 Conference in Saratoga, NY
They’ve got a great website, check it out at http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/
What We Talked About
- Anna is currently finishing an artist residency at the Touchstone center for crafts, during this 4-week residency she has been working on making tools for herself.
- In exchange for Anna being able to use the school’s resources to make her tools during her residency, she helps out around the school, cleaning and assisting in other classes.
- The school’s blacksmith shop has 12 student coal forging stations, an instructor coal forge, each with an anvil and post vise, a room full of tongs and hammers, 2 power hammers and gas forges.
- In years past Anna has worked at the school as a studio technician and was able to assist some top-rated instructors that have taught there such as Tom Latane and Mark Aspery.
- She has a BFA from Pratt Institute, she focused on jewelry and also became interested in weaponry. This interest led her to take a bladesmithing class at the Peter’s Valley School of Craft, this opened up the world of blacksmithing to her.
- Anna ended up taking an assistant position in the blacksmith shop at Peters Valley for a summer and this helped her grow her skills at the forge.
- Another stepping stone for Anna was her winter apprenticeship with Atlas Forge where they focused on production blacksmithing.
- Website – https://www.annarkoplik.com/
- Instagram is @arkoplik