This is the 2002 edition of Peter Elgass’s excellent, useful, and praiseworthy annual project of photographically documenting the work of several different master blacksmiths from around the world. Each annual has a brief biography of the smiths and a large number of beautiful photographs of their work. Each annual, in fact, contains hundreds of high-quality photos.
The 2002 edition showcases the work of the following master smiths: Phil Johnson (Scotland), Risto Immonen (Finland), Hans-Ueli Baumgartner (Switzerland), Helmut Brummer (Germany), Ulrich Schmied (Germany), Manfred Bergmeister (Germany), Simon Benetton (Italy).
Following is a paragraph from the Preface of the 2002 annual: “Good metal designers are trendsetters and lateral thinkers as a rule. They could confine themselves to designing a new chair once, to building this new successful model in series, and to marketing it like that. If they did that, they would be designers with marketing ambitions. Most probably they would become rich. But instead, they prefer to design other new chairs, lamps, railings and sculptures without selling them with an elaborate marketing concept. Due to the fact that it is always difficult to sell new ideas, there are no rich metal designers or blacksmiths. The metal designers all over the world have a hard time with finding recognition and customers, because there are only few customers who have the same courage to try something new. But, to be honest, pioneers have always had a hard time. The person who voluntarily takes up the role of trendsetter has to know what he is letting himself in for. They stand by their work and encourage others to live and work ‘differently’. We should take a leaf out of Manfred Bergmeister’s book. At the age of 74 he is building up a new workshop because he is convinced that contemporary metal design has a future, and that the generations down the road cannot do without trendsetters and lateral thinkers in the metal trade. If this yearbook is able to give our readers courage to approach new things and to enjoy ‘other’ designs, this would be a great success.”
The International Metal Design Annuals from 1999 through the current year are available from Artisan either individually or as a specially priced set.