Maria Cristalli is an artist blacksmith working in the Cle Elum (east of Seattle), Washington area. She has been blacksmithing for over 20 years, spending her developing years as an apprentice smith working with master smiths and taking classes. She designs and forges architectural ironwork, home furnishings, ironwork for the garden, as well as sculpture.
What We Talked About
- She started working with metal in her late 20’s after taking a welding class. Then she met Louie Raffler of Black Dog Forge and was hired to help him expand his business.
- While she was an assistant at Haystack with Peter Ross, he suggested that she apprentice under some blacksmiths. She was able to apprentice with Jacob Howard for 2.5 years and Darryl Nelson (http://darrylnelsonblacksmith.com/Sit_1./Home.html) for another 2.5 years.
- A wrought iron box she made that was selected to be in the show called “Women Do Iron” at the National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, http://www.metalmuseum.org/
- Maria maintains her own WordPress website herself, http://mariacristalli.com/
- How she had a 10 year old girl come to her shop for a year and half to learn blacksmithing, Maria tells us what the girl made
- A panorama picture of her shop that is super cool and interactive, you can move your mouse around to move the picture you are looking at, it is done by Bradford Bohonus at http://www.bohonus.com/
- Her new shop that she built from the ground up and how she planned it all out for the tools and power hammers she owns
- Current projects she is working on now are a driveway gate with a man door and a set of fireplace tools
- Pricing – Maria gets an estimate of the materials, then figures out the labor hours and then adds 30% on top. She prefers designing at the forge rather than on paper first
- Maria would like to start making and selling high end interior home accessories such as lamps and backsplashes
- A project that was made by The Contemporary Blacksmiths Guild that she is part of (http://www.contemporaryblacksmiths.org/about/ ), a large lantern designed fire pit. Eight blacksmiths working in her shop for 4 long days to complete the fire pit that was placed in a park.
- Maria will be teaching a two week course at Penland School of Crafts (http://penland.org/iron/index.html ) this summer on how to make sculptural lamps, “ Forging a Sculptural Lamp”, July 5 – 17, 2015
Maria’s personal FB page – Click Here
Maria’s Website – Click Here
Maria’s video about her blacksmithing career on Vimeo: Click here
Panorama of Maria’s previous shop – Click here
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