October 15, 2020 — January 2, 2021
Main Gallery

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is pleased to present Meta-Formation: New Connections in Contemporary Blacksmithing. The exhibition showcases some of the best metalworkers in the field today, illustrating the magic of forged metal. The featured work, from sculpture to functional ware, exemplifies a diversity of artistic expression, while embracing approaches that go beyond traditional blacksmithing techniques.

Spearheaded by New Orleans-based metalworker and designer Rachel David of Red Metal, Meta-Formation first debuted at the Appalachian Center for Craft (Smithville, TN) in 2019. Jurors Andy Cooperman, Hoss Haley, and former HCCC Curatorial Fellow Sarah Darro selected works from an open call, giving preference to those that exhibited outstanding sculptural and design qualities.

For the exhibition’s second iteration, David and HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall invited a new group of artists to contribute work. Hall commented, “With the opportunity to utilize a larger gallery space, Rachel and I wanted to expand the exhibition to include more artists who are influential in the field, as well as those who demonstrate a unique approach or perspective, illustrating that there is more out there than what has traditionally been presented.” As a whole, Meta-Formation demonstrates the evolution of contemporary blacksmithing and those inspired by the field, bringing some well-deserved attention to this frequently overlooked craft discipline.

Meta-Formation: New Connections in Contemporary Blacksmithing is organized by Rachel David in collaboration with HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall and was juried in part by Andy Cooperman, Sarah Darro, and Hoss Haley.

We invite you to learn more about the exhibition by visiting the virtual learning content below.


Press Release with Jurors Bios
Extended Exhibition Content
Low-Vision Gallery Guide
Sarah Darro, “The Contemporary Blacksmith Re-Examined,” Meta-Formation: Experiments and Rituals ex. cat. Rachel David, ed. Self-published, 2019. 


Live event: Craft Chats: “Meta-Formation” tour with Kathryn Hall
September 24, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Live event: “Meta-Formation” conversation with Rachel David & Kathryn Hall
October 31, 2020 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Video: Discover how Monica Coyne uses hot forging techniques to shape her sculptures

Video: See how Rachel David uses repoussé technique to create bodily surfaces

Video: Watch Johannes Postlmayr experiment with a hydraulic press to distort cut steel 

Video: Explore the inner workings of Seth Gould’s “Indicator Lock” (2020) 

Video: Learn about how Joshua Goss references geologic time in his “Ductile Compression” series

Image credits:

  1. Johannes Postlmayr, “Distorted Geometric N°1,” 2017. Steel. 3.9 x 2.76 x 2.36 inches. Photo by artist. Courtesy of the artist.
  2. David Barnhill, “Emulation of Shaomi Katsuyoshi,” 2017. Copper and nickel. 30 x 24 x 10 inches. Photo by artist. Courtesy of the artist.
  3.  Joshua A. Goss, “Ductile Compression 10,” 2015. Carbon steel, stainless steel, bronze. 22x18x12 inches. Photo by artist. Courtesy of the artist.
  4.  Rachel Kedinger, “Garden Tools,” 2016. Steel and brass rivets. 17 x 10 x 4 inches. Photo by Mercedes Jelinek. Courtesy of the artist.
  5.  Andrew Hayes, “Chevron,” 2019. Fabricated steel and book paper. 6 x 3 x 3 inches. Photo by Steve Mann. Courtesy of the artist.
  6.  David Barnhill, “Embers in the Night Sky,” 2017. Brass 230, brass 260, nickel 752, copper. 6 x 6 x 6.75 inches. Photo by artist. Courtesy of the artist.
  7.  Kest Schwartzman, “Falcon Mask for a Mink, Mink Mask for a Chicken, and Chicken Mask for a Mole,” 2018. Stainless steel, copper, bone, brass, glass jar. Photo by artist. Courtesy of the artist.
  8.  Lisa Geertsen, “Wide Open,” 2018. Steel and copper. 7 x 7 x 5.75 inches. Photo by Michelle Smith Lewis. Courtesy of the artist.
  9. David Harper Clemons, “The Over Looked – Bread Basket No. 1,” 2018. Mild steel, copper, brass, ash. 14 x 14 x 12 inches. Photo by artist. Courtesy of the artist.
  10.  Elizabeth Brim, “Scroll,” 2015. Forged steel. 14 x 12 inches. Photo by Robin Dryer. Courtesy of the artist.
  11.  Stephen Yusko, “Reliquary: Solitude,” 2017. Forged, machined, and fabricated steel, glass, painted wood. Photo by Dan Morgan. Courtesy of the artist.