Colonial Cooking Spoon With Filed Accents – Joshua Rachita

2022 | 14 x 3 x 1 inches | Mild Steel

My work is mainly focused on and inspired by ironwork from the 18th century. Though research of shapes and designs produced in this period, I aim to apply these techniques in my own work to create ironwork with the same characteristics and styles. Work at the time, was informed mainly by the relationship between material and labor. Unlike today, material cost was much higher than the labor cost put into a piece. The material, wrought iron, also has unique abilities and limitations that dictate the forms. The result of this relationship is a unique style of work. I find seeking this desired outcome is most easily done and most enjoyable when using the same hand tools that were available to smiths at the time. Most of my work is made and used in a museum setting which means I get to share the process of my work with visitors everyday and tell them about my research on 18th century ironwork.

Joshua Rachita

I started forging in 2015 after rekindling an interest in the craft from a merit badge class I had taken at a Boy Scout summer camp. While attending Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas I worked at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum in the blacksmith shop. During this time, I learned about the historic side of blacksmithing. I related deeply to the work for its unique forms dictated by the capabilities of the materials, the utilitarian nature of the products, and the hand tool processes used in the shaping of these objects. In 2019 I had the incredible opportunity to intern with artist blacksmith, Evan Wilson, at Mobile Loaves Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. Working with Evan showed me how these same principles, when applied to modern work, result in an aesthetic that is attractive to the eye. In 2021 and 2022 I had the privilege to intern at the Anderson Armoury at Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia. These experiences solidified my interest in 18th century ironwork and was extremely valuable in cultivating new skills and insights into this work while surrounded by smiths who have pursued this craft for many years.

BD80E142-14FE-49F2-A7BF-6F41ABD6CCBE - Joshua Rachita
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