Apr 25, 2016
Jeff Jubenville is an artist and a blacksmith who lives in
Rochester, NY. Although his life’s primary focus for work
over the last 30 years has been working with Albert Paley and Paley
Studios, as the shop foreman. Jeff has always had
his own blacksmithing shop and has been busy creating both
functional and sculptural metal works of his own design for private
What We Talked About
- Jeff and the crew in the Paley Studios are currently preparing
a few public art installations that will be installed on a few
different states across the country. One of them is destined for
Colorado and it about 22 ft tall and 10,000 lbs. One of the
other pieces will be installed on a hurricane wall which will be 42
ft long, and around 7000 lbs of stainless steel.
- One of Jeff’s main duties as the shop Forman is to make sure
that sculptures are ready to be worked on when Albert is there at
the shop. Albert has a very busy travel schedule due to the many
lectures he gives across the country and to the classes he teaches,
so Albert’s time in the shop is limited and Jeff makes the most of
that time by being as efficient as possible.
- Jeff’s educational background is in painting (watercolors) and
he attended SUNY Brockport to receive a Bachelors of art. Jeff met
Albert for the first time in a jewelry class that Jeff took and
Albert was the instructor.
- When Jeff finished college he went to work for Tom Markusen
doing forging and learning how to weld, use a power hammer and a
- Also, during the summers Jeff worked in a historical
reenactment museum in the blacksmith shop. This is where he taught
himself more traditional blacksmith skills.
- For 7 years, 1980 – 87, Jeff was working at a structural steel
firm and every year he would approach Albert to hire him to work in
the studio. Albert hired him on to work part-time at night, so Jeff
was working both jobs for about a year until Jeff was laid off from
the structural steel firm. He then asked Albert for a
full-time job and got it!
- Paley Studios is now in a 40,000 sq ft building, 10,000 of it
is upstairs with the offices, archives, and a print storage room.
The shop is 25,000 sq ft and about 7,000 sq ft of warehouse for
- Currently, there are 14 employees in the shop working on the
floor. They perform most of the grinding, welding and torch
work. Jeff and Albert do most of the forging. They end
up hiring out a lot of the cutting, machining and forming to
- Jeff stays busy at the studio with coordinating: the ordering
of materials, the scheduling of outside contractors, photo shoots
of finished pieces, ongoing projects of Albert’s series work,
installing art and the ongoing submittals for public art.
- Jeff talks about the differences in character between him and
Albert, and how those differences have enhanced their working
relationship for the past 30 years.
- This summer, in Salt Lake City Utah, Jeff will be giving a few
lectures at the ABANA Conference covering the day to day operations
at the studio and the NYC Park Ave installation of 13
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016 Conference in SLC, Utah.
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