How this Mounds, Okla., blacksmith turns hard metal to soft art

Great State
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MOUNDS, Okla. (KFOR) – The roar of the forge, the glow of heated metal, the smoke from a rawhide hammer.

Whatever it was, Holly Fisher’s life changed quickly after just a few short minutes in a blacksmith shop, that long to get right in tune with the rhythmic swing.

“There’s no way to replicate that,” she says.

She learned by doing and then teaching, coaxing red, hot bar stock to bend like clay, repeating the process over and over till her arms ache and hard metal turned soft.

An old teacher’s advice welded itself to her memory.

“Blacksmiths are like boiled eggs,” she recalls him saying. “They’re hard on the outside but soft on the inside.”

Photo goes with story
A piece of Holly Fisher’s metal art.

There’s not much harder substance than steel.

It makes good tools. It holds up the walls of her shop.

But Holly always brought at artist’s eye to her own forge.

Her own work is much more lifelike than the beams above.

“To take that and create something that looks much more lively, you’re playing with a lot of good things right there.”

First taper, then twist.

Today she’s experimenting with how many times she can turn that bar stock before something gives.

“Don’t let the material make you hard,” she recalls her old teacher saying again. “Stay soft.”

A dozen revolutions and her square piece turns round.

Photo goes with story
Another piece of metal art from Holly Fisher.

She hardly ever produces straight pieces.

Fisher’s husband is a farrior and an artist in his own right.

A couple of years back they both produced this huge war bonnet.

Her horses are always running, always in motion.

She teaches riding, but these metal horses are too wild.

“I’ve done a lot with it,” she states. “Now I have the luxury to be able to just express with it.”

For more information on Holly Fisher’s work go to her Facebook page.

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