When you have passion, you are consumed……your life revolves around it. I’m not talking about sex; many people confuse horniess with passion. Passion is the desire to do something to the upmost excellence. You CAN be a passionate lover, but that is a subject for another blog in a different forum.
When you meet someone with passion, you feel the energy…..the air throbs around that person. I met Jeff Fetty on Saturday and I want you to meet him also.
I went to Roane County, West Virginia on Saturday to visit some farms. I also write a blog for West Virginia Farm 2 u. The Collaborative for 21st Century Applachia wants to help improve the connection between farms and consumers and I am visiting farms, markets and restaurants to find out what they do and how they get their product to the public. On Saturday I visited a goat farm, another farm where they have honey bees and mushrooms, and a winery. (Information about those places will be on the Farm2u blog this week, if you are interested in finding out more.) It was the owner of the winery who suggested we visit the Chestnut Ridge Artist Colony.
Jeff needed to move his workshop and found over 200 acres on Chestnut Ridge overlooking the town of Spencer. Working with the City, he developed it as a place where artists can design and develop their dream studios. While only minutes from downtown Spencer, the site borders hundred of acres of both city and private undeveloped land.
Currently there is one other building housing Holcomb Woodworking and TLH Jewelry. Phil Holcomb is a master luthier designing and building a number of different musical instruments and other exquisitely crafted items using a variety of native hardwoods.
Jeff Fetty’s media is metal; he has been a blacksmith, creating ironwork for nearly 40 years. Forging in the traditional way – using fire, anvil, and hammer – he fashions sculpture, intricate garden gates, exquisitely designed lamps and fine furniture.
Fetty’s shop has 3200 sq.ft. of forging space plus an additional mezzanine housing a 600 sq.ft. of office and design studio.His work is recognized internationally and he is featured in the 2012 World Congress of Artist Blacksmithing (Achen, Germany) annual collection of artists, the 4th American ever to be included.
The work is massive. He had a scale model of a staircase he built on commission in the gallery. Examples of his large work hangs on the wall in the forge area. His work is also exquisite and detailed including flowers with petals and small calla lilly candle holders.
Jeff and his wife and spent a long time designing a home that is under construction adjacent to the workshop, which will also house her textile art workshop. Sited to capture the panoramic view with a massive great room and huge deck, it will be an ideal venue to showcase more of his art. Certainly his skills are providing strong support for the structure. His craft will decorate it.