Dave Kasprick is hoping the public gets behind his effort to raise money for the Nanoose Bay Community Cupboard.
The owner of the Red Cod Forge is holding a Christmas studio open house on Saturday, Dec. 17 where he will be donating the proceeds from the sale of his original forged star fish sculptures to the local food band. Kasprick has created quite a few of the one-of-a-kind metal pieces which he will sell for around $25 with all of the money going to the local food bank.
He said he will donate 10 per cent of the proceeds from any of his other pieces sold at the open house.
“I want to help the community. I have lived in Nanoose Bay for 26 years. After the studio tour I thought I would have my own show and raise money for the food bank at Christmas time.”
Kasprick creates artistic metal work using traditional blacksmithing methods in his backyard studio located on his farm in Nanoose Bay. His workshop is filled with authentic blacksmithing tools he uses to mold glowing iron into sculptures.
Kasprick is a true blacksmith artist and when he is forging metal in his studio he prefers to use traditional tools to hammer, bend and cut and he is constantly striving to add even more historic tools to his workshop.
He said if he makes a little extra money this weekend he will put it into his line shaft that he is putting together to make his shop more authentic. For those who don’t know what a line shaft is, Kasprick said it is a big power hammer. He also has a grinder and a power hack saw that all run off one common shaft — just like is was done in the old days.
“The equipment I have is from the turn of the century. It is from 1902 and I want to get it up and running so my shop lives and breathes art. I don’t want a plasma cutter. I want my shop to have some life in it,” admitted Kasprick.
Blacksmiths work by heating pieces of wrought iron or steel until the metal becomes soft enough to be shaped with hand tools, such as a hammer, anvil and chisel. Heating is accomplished by the use of a forge fueled by propane, natural gas, coal, charcoal, or coke.
There is an increasing interest and revival in the art of blacksmithing and Kasprick said he finds the craft very rewarding. An artist from an early age, Kasprick began working with clay and drawing wildlife with pen and ink. The interest to heat steel in order to mold and ply it like clay became the focus of his art when he built his first forge in 2002.
“The farrier was here doing horseshoes. I made a forge that evening after watching him. It was just like working clay. After I built my own forge my shop grew. One day someone said you have a blacksmith shop here.”
That started his foray into the steel medium and ever since he has been continually practicing the ancient art and credits a metal artist in Nanaimo for mentoring him.
Working with iron takes practice and a keen eye for metal and Kasprick’s hand forged work is mostly done with recycled steel.
Through this medium, he incorporates marine themes with coastal wildlife to create abstract and freeform steel sculptures. His works range from small one dimensional pieces to two or three dimensional sculptures, gates, railings, and functional art for use in the home and garden.
You are invited to the forge to see Kasprick’s sculptural works of art at the Red Cod Forge, 2155 Spur Place in Nanoose Bay.
The open house Dec. 17 runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.