Episode #69 – Jeff Jubenville “Constant Choreography of Chaos”

Jeff Jubenville is an artist and a blacksmith who lives in Rochester, NY.  Although his life’s primary focus for work over the last 30 years has been working with Albert Paley and Paley Studios, as the shop foreman.  Jeff has always had his own blacksmithing shop and has been busy creating both functional and sculptural metal works of his own design for private commissions.

IMG_20140105_144906 KIMG0580 Jeff and Albert gate

What We Talked About

  • Jeff and the crew in the Paley Studios are currently preparing a few public art installations that will be installed in a few different states across the country. One of them is destined for Colorado and it about 22 ft tall and 10,000 lbs.  One of the other pieces will be installed on a hurricane wall which will be 42 ft long, and around 7000 lbs of stainless steel.
  • One of Jeff’s main duties as the shop Forman is to make sure that sculptures are ready to be worked on when Albert is there at the shop. Albert has a very busy travel schedule due to the many lectures he gives across the country and to the classes he teaches, so Albert’s time in the shop is limited and Jeff makes the most of that time by being as efficient as possible.
  • Jeff’s educational background is in painting (watercolors) and he attended SUNY Brockport to receive a Bachelors of art. Jeff met Albert for the first time in a jewelry class that Jeff took and Albert was the instructor.
  • When Jeff finished college he went to work for Tom Markusen doing forging and learning how to weld, use a power hammer and a coal forge.
  • Also, during the summers Jeff worked in a historical reenactment museum in the blacksmith shop. This is where he taught himself more traditional blacksmith skills.
  • For 7 years, 1980 – 87, Jeff was working at a structural steel firm and every year he would approach Albert to hire him to work in the studio. Albert hired him on to work part-time at night, so Jeff was working both jobs for about a year until Jeff was laid off from the structural steel firm.  He then asked Albert for a full-time job and got it!
  • Paley Studios is now in a 40,000 sq ft building, 10,000 of it is upstairs with the offices, archives, and a print storage room. The shop is 25,000 sq ft and about 7,000 sq ft of warehouse for storage.
  • Currently, there are 14 employees in the shop working on the floor. They perform most of the grinding, welding and torch work.  Jeff and Albert do most of the forging.  They end up hiring out a lot of the cutting, machining and forming to subcontractors.
  • Jeff stays busy at the studio with coordinating: the ordering of materials, the scheduling of outside contractors, photo shoots of finished pieces, ongoing projects of Albert’s series work, installing art and the ongoing submittals for public art.
  • Jeff talks about the differences in character between him and Albert, and how those differences have enhanced their working relationship for the past 30 years.
  • This summer, in Salt Lake City Utah, Jeff will be giving a few lectures at the ABANA Conference covering the day to day operations at the studio and the NYC Park Ave installation of 13 sculptures.

Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016 Conference in SLC, Utah. ABANA Conf Poster

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