George Rousis

I love to move metal. When heated to a high temperature, metal becomes an almost fluid substance, influenced easily by the strike of a hammer, snap of the wrist or twist of the body, thus allowing the potential of the material to grow, move and be free. Using the traditions of blacksmithing, and influenced by organic forms, I create functional and sculptural ironworks.

My first project began with found materials. Hammering large metal wire into an old concrete parking block for texture and then bending it into shape cold. After graduating from University of Maryland Baltimore County, I took a job at Ironique where I was introduced to fire, pretty hammers, and big anvils. It is all I’ve known since. For the last thirteen years I've worked as a blacksmith primarily creating architectural pieces while also pursuing my own commissions and making sculpture. Currently I operate independently as Organic Iron Concepts.

I use recycled materials when I can. I often see forms in objects and feel I must release them. Growth is a recurring theme in my work. Giving life and respect to something as banal as an old section of rail or small chunk of steel found on the road makes me feel alive.

In addition to my functional and sculptural pieces, I work on a smaller scale creating adornments, both for the body and home. Much of it utilizes steel and wrought iron, some of it beginning as salvaged material. I also utilize mokume gane and damascus. Mokume gane is a traditional Japanese technique using multiple layers of non-ferrous material to create a finished product with a “wood grained” surface and damascus is a similar looking product also known as pattern welded steel. I build, fire and forge my billets (a small, usually rectangular bar of metal in an intermediate stage of manufacture) from scratch enabling me to create unique, one of a kind pieces.

I have made my home in the urban core of Kansas City, Mo. with my wife Annie, my daughters Eleni (4 yrs.) and Elexi (2 yrs.), a dog and two cats.