Museum prepared to repair metalwork
> Artful smithies gather for annual fix-up, fundraiser
Special to The Commercial Appeal
As the title, “Everything but Cats, Cars, and Broken Hearts,” indicates, Repair Days at the National Ornamental Metal Museum is prepared to fix just about anything you care to bring in, from weeping chalices to weather vanes to motorcycles.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary today through Sunday, the annual event and primary fundraiser for the museum will gather from around the country nearly a hundred metalsmiths, several hundreds of volunteers and a thousand or so visitors with items needing refurbishment.
“It’s a great gathering of artists and the public, everybody supporting one another,” says local photographer Sharon Bicks, who was asked by the museum’s executive director, Carissa Hussong, to shoot last year’s event. Bicks’ results can be seen in the museum’s aforementioned show, “Everything but Cats, Cars, and Broken Hearts: Repair Days Portraits.”
“Most of the time, we leave things to be repaired and you’re not witness to what the artist does,” adds
People can get free estimates and with a repair receipt in hand receive free admission to the museum. And while repairs are the weekend’s central draw, the museum has plenty more activities planned, including a demonstration by Penland School of Crafts instructor Elizabeth Brim, who will make metal pillows using an inflation technique that entails blowing up welded sheets of metal with a tube.
“It’s quite amazing,” says Hussong. “People who know Elizabeth and have taken her classes think it’s a pretty commonplace technique because she’s been doing it so long, but it’s really very innovative and unusual.” An exhibit of Brim’s work, which runs through Nov. 8 as does Bicks’ photography, can also be seen at Repair Days.
Designated “Family Fun Day,” Saturday will be especially busy with demonstrations and attractions such as casting and jewelry making as well as an auction of donated artwork and an interactive component for the adults in the “sharing of the fruit jar,” a tradition involving the homemade forging of certain libations.