Episode #32 – Zeevik Gottlieb “Blacksmithing is Like Medicine”

For Zeevik, forging iron is a way of life.  Blacksmithing since 1993, he forges ornamental and architectural ironwork in Israel.  Learning from the best blacksmiths such as Uri Hofi, Amnon Arlichman, Novoya Yamaguchi, Giora Biran and Shlomo Harel.  Zeevik’s high standard of technique and design has made him an excellent teacher and demonstrator of blacksmithing skills.  In 2009, he won the Blacksmithing World Championship in Stia, Italy, and his career has soared ever since that event.

Trust Me Acrobatics sculpture Ze Sculpture 1

What We Talked About

  •  Zeevik has been artistic since he was a little boy, drawing and working with different materials.  Later, after being in the army, he registered for an art college in Israel and while he was waiting for the acceptance from the school he ended up working in a blacksmith shop to earn some money.  Zeevik then continued to learn from many master blacksmiths.
  • Zeevik and Amit Alev started a blacksmith association in Israel in 2009.  They had gathered about 40 members before the Association died off due to not enough involvement.  The 40 members and other blacksmiths keep in close contact still and meet in each other’s shops every two or three weeks.  They like to meet for each other’s birthdays and make tooling for the birthday person’s shop.
  • Classes are offered and taught by Zeevik in his shop every week.  He explains the basics of blacksmithing; how to swing a hammer, how to hold a hammer, how to approach the anvil, how to use the forge.  He teaches the Free Hand Forging techniques; this shows how to be efficient with the hand hammer, moving more metal with every hammer swing.
  • His blacksmithing school has been running for ten years; it has ten stations each equipped with an anvil and forge.
  • In 2009, Zeevik won the Blacksmithing World Championship in Stia, Italy, which he almost didn’t make because his wife gave birth one month before the competition and wanted Zeevik to stay home.  Two weeks before the competition the organizers inform each contestant of the theme or subject they have picked, in 2009 it was “balance”.  Zeevik won with his sculpture of a man and a woman in an acrobatic balance pose.
  • The organization that runs the Blacksmithing World Championships asked Zeevik and 4 of his students to create and install a permanent sculpture for the City of Stia.
  • Zeevik will be demonstrating at CanIron 2015.  He never forgets what Uri Hofi taught him about demonstrating; know what you are doing, keep the audience engaged, keep it simple enough to learn and make it happen fast.  Zeevik will be showing his techniques on how to make sculptures.
  • Zeevik’s sculptures can be seen in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.
  • Zeevik talks about making a leg vise into a sculpture for his friend who is a collector of weapons and blacksmith tools.  The vise is pictured below; with it’s forged face and long mustache.

Amazing post vise Balance sculpture ZeevikGottlieb

Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Cape Breton Blacksmith Association CBBA logo

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