Apr 4, 2016
Monica is an artist blacksmith who lives and works in
California. Working closely with a wide-range of clients
and demonstrates her techniques in workshops and conferences across
What We Talked About
- Monica has been blacksmithing for 12 years. She went to a local
Hamer-in at Weaverville, CA and took a class with Mark Aspery. This
sparked her passion for the craft.
- She then sought out opportunities to learn and apprentice with
experienced blacksmiths such as Toby Hickman and Daniel Miller. She
spent 2 years as an apprentice with Toby.
- 4 years later she quit her job at the welding fabrication shop
and built and off grid shop on her and her husband’s land.
- Monica tells us how her husband built her forge shop from the
ground up that is completely off the grid! The shop has solar and
hydro power along with a backup diesel generator if
- When Monica was asked to be a demonstrator at ABANA, she knew
she wanted to show the sliding dovetail joint techniques that she
has been perfecting for the last 4 years.
- Regarding her thought process on the sculpture design that she
came up with for the ABANA demo she thought about where in your
body would a sliding dovetail joint fit. Naturally it would be at
the biggest pivot joint in your body, at the hips, where the spine
connects to the pelvic bone.
- Deeper research into the pelvic bone pointed Monica to Greek
Mythology. The word “Ilium” comes from the word “ilia” and “ilia”
is another name for Rhea Silvia. Rhea Silvia was the
mother of Romulus and Remus who founded Rome, therefore Rhea or
Ilia can be interpreted to be the mother of civilization.
When Monica works with metal she is always trying to understand the
connection between the civilized world and the natural world.
- For her Ilia design she will start with 1” square stock to make
the Ilium or the hip bones, she will use ¾” square bar to make the
tailbone (or the tenon part of the dovetail joint) and the wedge
pin, representing the spine, will be made from 1’2” square
- Monica studied woodworking in college and made some wooden
dovetail joints before and she had always wanted to make that joint
in metal. The first metal dovetail joint she made was about 4 years
ago and she has been perfecting the techniques, angles and ways to
- Mike Limb will be Monica’s assistant at ABANA and they have
been friends for many years. Monica met Mike Limb at the
Weaverville Hammer-in and they have both grown their blacksmith
skills together there.
Monica Coyne’s Links:
Website – http://www.monicacoyneartistblacksmith.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MonicaCoyneArtistBlacksmith
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016
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