Carley Eisenberg runs Iron Mountain Forge in Boone, NC, where she forges sculptural and functional artwork. In February 2015 she was on HGTV’s “Ellen’s Design Challenge” as a furniture designer contestant (Ellen DeGeneres is the the executive producer of the show). You can watch the series and see what Carley created on YouTube, here. Her beautiful designs kept her on the show for 3 weeks.
What We Talked About:
- Carley was a woodworker for a long time and mentored under the well known furniture designer Vivian Beer (http://www.vivianbeer.com/) for two summers.
- Her metal career started with welding but quickly moved into the blacksmithing field.
- After a month of blacksmithing on her own, she applied for a job at Oak Hill Iron. The owner asked her to TIG weld two pieces of aluminum right on the spot and said “If you can TIG weld these two pieces together you have a job”. She ended up staying there for 10 months until she was asked to be on the Ellen Design Challenge show.
- Carley started an Etsy page in 2010 first to sell her wood working pieces and has since added her blacksmithing pieces. She has done quite well with Etsy. After the premiere episode of the Ellen’s Design Challenge, Carley had 12 sales from her Etsy page within an hour!
- Carley came up with a blacksmithing technique while she was on the show. It involves sinking in the flat sides of square tubing and then twisting the tube, the result looks like a twisted ribbon. You can see it in Carley’s ribbon table pictured above.
- Carley has been able to raise her hourly rate since being on the HGTV show from $65 to $100!
- The main job that brings in income for her business is making beer taps for the Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone NC, about 50 taps every week. The taps look like huge hops made of metal, pictured above.
- Carley’s shop is in a co-op type building that houses 12 different artists.
- One of her blacksmithing highlights was taking a class from Clay Spencer at the John C Campbell Folk School. It was a week long advanced traditional joinery class.
- “Ellen’s Design Challenge” was exactly that – a challenge! Designing a piece of furniture in a short amount of time (first with three nine hour days) was the most stressful part of the challenge. Carley was able to stay on the show until the top 3 were left, she was voted off the show with her 4th design of the show, a beautiful couch.
- There is a subsection of her website called “Red Cloak Studios”- dedicated to art and furniture pieces that are designed from fables and fairytales. One of the designs being the “All the Better My Dear Rocker” rocking chair she made. The chair took her 70 hours to make with over 100 plug welds in the whole piece.
Carley Eisenberg’s Links:
Website – http://www.carleyeisenberg.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IronMountainForgeNC
Twitter – @Carley_imf
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – NOMMA, www.nomma.org