Monica is an artist blacksmith who lives and works in California. Working closely with a wide-range of clients and demonstrates her techniques in workshops and conferences across the country.
What We Talked About
- Monica has been blacksmithing for 12 years. She went to a local Hamer-in at Weaverville, CA and took a class with Mark Aspery. This sparked her passion for the craft.
- She then sought out opportunities to learn and apprentice with experienced blacksmiths such as Toby Hickman and Daniel Miller. She spent 2 years as an apprentice with Toby.
- 4 years later she quit her job at the welding fabrication shop and built and off grid shop on her and her husband’s land.
- Monica tells us how her husband built her forge shop from the ground up that is completely off the grid! The shop has solar and hydro power along with a backup diesel generator if needed.
- When Monica was asked to be a demonstrator at ABANA, she knew she wanted to show the sliding dovetail joint techniques that she has been perfecting for the last 4 years.
- Regarding her thought process on the sculpture design that she came up with for the ABANA demo she thought about where in your body would a sliding dovetail joint fit. Naturally it would be at the biggest pivot joint in your body, at the hips, where the spine connects to the pelvic bone.
- Deeper research into the pelvic bone pointed Monica to Roman Mythology. The word “Ilium” comes from the word “ilia” and “ilia” is another name for Rhea Silvia. Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus who founded Rome, therefore Rhea or Ilia can be interpreted to be the mother of civilization. When Monica works with metal she is always trying to understand the connection between the civilized world and the natural world.
- For her Ilia design she will start with 1” square stock to make the Ilium or the hip bones, she will use ¾” square bar to make the tailbone (or the tenon part of the dovetail joint) and the wedge pin, representing the spine, will be made from 1’2” square stock.
- Monica studied woodworking in college and made some wooden dovetail joints before and she had always wanted to make that joint in metal. The first metal dovetail joint she made was about 4 years ago and she has been perfecting the techniques, angles and ways to use them.
- Mike Limb will be Monica’s assistant at ABANA and they have been friends for many years. Monica met Mike Limb at the Weaverville Hammer-in and they have both grown their blacksmith skills together there.
Click below to view a video of Monica forging a dovetail joint!
Monica Coyne’s Links:
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016 Conference, http://www.abana.org/Conferences/2016/index.html
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