Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Podcast - Iron Antler Forge

This episode, we talk with Daniel Stuart of Iron Antler Forge about art, business, creation, and the madness of worlds that never were.

Daniel and a few creations at his shop (image courtesy of Daniel Stuart)

For those who haven't seen Daniel's wares at the Maryland Renaissance Faire, or at shows like the American Craft Council, you're in for something special. Daniel works mostly in metals, forging and welding together artifacts of an age that we wish had existed - far above and beyond the usual “throw some more gears on it” aesthetic of stereotypical steampunk. Daniel's style is unmistakable and the quality is outstanding. The theme of his work is tied together with a fictional storyline: the SteamQuake Excavation, which is teaming with archeologists unearthing the Iron Antler pieces.

Daniel was kind enough to invite us up to his forge in central Maryland. You'll hear the forge and gaslines and pneumatic gear sighing in the background, but we're all still audible. Oddly enough, my favorite portion of the podcast isn’t the usual geekery and reminiscing over dusty speculative fiction tales; it’s the down-to-earth discussion of exactly how difficult it is to transition from a hobbyist to a professional. This episode is a must listen for anyone considering the jump from Etsy to full-time.

Oh, and afterwards, we got a preview of the Artisans Tour as Daniel crafted our new, unofficial DC Geeks mascot!
Suggest names for him in the comments!
“But, Aine,” you may be thinking, “the Maryland Renaissance Festival is closed for the year! And I never buy a jetpack without making sure it fits.” Well, you’re in luck because Daniel has several upcoming events:

Countryside Artisans Studio Tour (November 30, December 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9)
Half road trip and half open house, the tour allows you to visit a dozen artists in their studios. Daniel will be doing demos both weekends. “Come out and watch me turn 2000° steel into something awesome. Specifically, Daniel recommends three like-minded artists: Ed Kidera, Art of Fire, and 2 Griffins.

American Craft Council Show (February 22-24)
If you listen to the podcast, Daniel explains the extensive lengths the artists go through to make it into this show. He suggests that if you’re only going to make one show in 2013, make it this one. Show up and see over 500 top artisans (and buy beautiful, top-notch work).

For those of you who know a good deal on jetpacks when you see them, here’s how to hop online and make sure you get your favorites before someone else walks off with your one-of-a-kind art (or just ogle and spread the word over social media):
Does that sound like a fangirly plug? Well, it totally is. I’ve been trying to send business Daniel’s way since Brannen and I first visited the shop over a year ago. And keep an eye out for the upcoming Kickstarter for his steampunk card game.

Here's another look at that mascot.
Thanks again, Daniel, for joining us on the podcast and making us this guy.

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