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Jon Labine

Region: 
South Slave
Community: 
Fort Smith
All Art Types: 
Phone: 
(867) 872-0708
Address: 
Box 1118
Fort Smith, NT X0E 0P0

Artist Story

I consider myself a blacksmith and I create art with metals. I especially like to make art pieces that serve a purpose, like tools with alluring features. For example, I modify the railway spikes that hold tracks to the ground into fire pokers, or coat hooks. I add a literal twist to common items to give them a unique look and use. Sometimes, people will see the pieces on my showcase table, and they will have ideas of their own: some people wanted the railway spikes to be transformed into a foot pedal for a motorcycle, others wanted it to be transformed into a handle for a tool they’re using.

I love to work with iron because it’s forgiving. I could take every piece I have and turn it into something else until it crumbles to pieces and then I could take those pieces, melt them down, and start all over again. If I don’t like the way an item looks, I can mold it the way that I want it to. Starting over is a hard process, but it can be done.

My creative process doesn’t always start in the same way. Sometimes, I will look at a piece of metal and feel inspired. Other times, I will just create something entirely new, or transform an old item into something else. I like to try new things just based on an idea, even if I’m not sure it will turn out to be an item that I love.

What’s great about making art is that there is a lot of freedom. I love to figure things out as I work and I love the concept of not limiting myself when I start a new artistic project. There’s a lot to learn from playing with ideas and see how they evolve with a little bit of imagination. Yes, there are small boundaries, but there is a lot of freedom in choosing what you want to create as an artist. A mistake can turn into a masterpiece by the end. It’s nice to see where things go sometimes!

Artist Bio: 

Jon Labine was born and raised in Fort Smith. He has taken a few classes with a blacksmith in Edmonton, and now creates metal artwork from his home. One of these days, Jon hopes to be able to build a multi-story spiral staircase out of metals and scrolls. He is currently working on some exciting projects and is looking forward to their completion.

Last Updated: December 5, 2018

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