Forging The Future Of An Ancient Craft
If you're thinking swords, axes and big bearly work when we say "blacksmithing", think again! Catch part 1 of our new 4 part mini-series - Meet The Maker - with Rex Latham and his daughter Katie Latham on being a modern-day blacksmith down at Cockington Court.
Originally from Sheffield, Rex moved to Torbay to fulfil his passion for working in flames with black iron; hence the name Blacksmith. Rex's work is engraved into Torbay's rich heritage, from commissions at Torre Abbey to the ironwork on the steps of Paignton's Parish Church.
While Rex Latham Blacksmith is known for making and fixing things, they are also breaking the usual stereotypes and forging the image of a modern-day Blacksmith packed full of artistry. Katie Latham - Rex's daughter - left her senior job in London and recently joined her father in the furnace at Cockington Court. With a drastic career switch, we asked her what it's like to be a female blacksmith:
"I have a lot of comments on a regular bases, as to the job role and who should be doing the job, and then to turn around the corner and see a lady doing it a lot of people are surprised. But I think they only have to be in our company for a short time, watch what we do, see what we're making and really understand what it is we do here." - Katie Latham.
Spending time in the forge, feeling the heat of the furnace against your skin, seeing sparks fly after a crashing hammer blow, it does feel like you're in Winterfell from Game of Thrones. However, once you're numb to the noise and the flames, you start to really appreciate the craftsmanship. Take some time out and stroll down to Cockington Court to witness for yourself the true artistry, attention to detail, and care each item receives during the making process at Rex Latham Blacksmith.
Join Torbay's creative community! Studio space now available at Cockington Court. Particularly interested to hear from these types of makers: enameler jeweller, functional potter or printmaker. Please contact Marissa.Wakefield@tda.uk.net