To wield a hammer, bend metal, and make something with purpose—that requires strength, ability, and the know-how. Amy Weiks, co-owner of Smith Shop in Detroit, says, “The best part of being a metalsmith is reaching the point when you really start to understand the properties of metal, how malleable and how unbelievably strong it can be. Transforming metal into a functional object and then using that object or seeing someone else use it and enjoy it is very rewarding. “
In the photos above, Amy is fabricating buckles for belts that are 100% made in the US. Instead of creating a mold that allows for speedy mass-production, each buckle is forged, formed, soldered, filed, and sanded by hand. With the attention given to each piece, there’s a unique character and quality to the design. It goes beyond utility and fashion trends and transforms into art.
By using her hands and hard-earned skills, Amy has the unlimited potential to create and care for her creations. Elbow grease and talent can get you somewhere. It’s up to you to do the dirty work. Figure things out, have confidence in your abilities, and learn what you can from every experience, even if they are negative.