Philip Vercammen is a Belgian Blacksmith that has been invited to design a forged panel for the Ypres 2016 International Event in Belgium.
What We Talked About
- Philip received a degree in 1986 for graphic design. He then went to the Academy of Fine Art in Brussels, Belgium for 7 years and received a Blacksmithing degree. Belgium is one of the only countries in the world that has an art school sponsored by the Government and it offers a Blacksmithing degree!
- Philip is now a teacher for the blacksmith program at the Academy. Besides teaching the skills and techniques of the craft he also teaches about the history of ornamental ironwork to his students.
- As a teacher, Philip encourages his students to draw every day to help enhance their own style and body of work. He thinks it is very important to sketch ideas out first and then make a scaled 1:1 drawing before going into the shop.
- Philip’s design for the Ypres panel has beautiful pointed tabs as connections that wrap around a rod. The tabs are part of three masks that are the main design of the panel. The three masks represent the three fates. Three sisters appeared in Greek and Roman mythology and were believed to “spin out” the destiny of a child at birth, through spinning the thread of life. Their names in Greek were Clotho, (“the spinner”), Lachesis (“the apportioner”, measurer) and Atropos (“the inevitable”, the cutter).
- He will make and bring very fine chisels to the Ypres event because his design involves a lot of fine cuts for the pointed tabs.
- Philip two grandfathers were involved with WW1, one worked in a war camp and escaped and the other grandfather was in the underground Resistance.
- Philip is also the editor of the Belgian Blacksmith Association’s newsletter that is released every three months, it is called “The Rivet”. The Association has around 200 members.