Frederic Crist

200 Twelfth Street

Waynesboro, VA 22980


A Brief Career Narrative

Forging metal has always been my choice of material and process as a

sculptor. I was first introduced to this direct manipulation of metal as a

student at Philadelphia College of Art (presently University of the Arts) in

1974. I was captivated by it’s potential as a sculptural medium. Upon

graduation with a BFA in sculpture, I began working at Samuel Yellin

Metalworkers in Philadelphia in 1977. This studio renowned for its

excellence in hand forged metalworks dating back to 1906, was to be my

training ground for the next eleven years. I began as an apprentice and

worked my way up to Master Smith and head of the forging dept. While at

the Yellin studios, I assisted and led on many major projects, as gate and

railing for the Washington Cathedral in DC, display case for the Book of

Kells at the University of Pittsburgh, restoration and new reproduction of

forgings at the Wilmington Train Station, Wilmington Del. Ironwork for the

estate of Frederick Koch in Butler, PA, and numerous private commissions

around the United States. In 1987 I received a 1% for the Arts Commission

from the City of Philadelphia.

After eleven years at the Yellin Studios, I moved to Virginia to set up a

studio with my business partner David Munn. Over the next 18 years we

completed numerous commissions for private and corporate entities. In

1999-2000 I received a Virginia Museum Fellowship in Sculpture . During

that time I spent a week at Rose Industries, an industrial forge shop in

Cleveland, OH, forging larger scale works. We received the

Craftsmanship Award from the Virginia and West Virginia Chapters of the

AIA for works in forged metals. Ongoing exhibitions at the Reynolds

Gallery in Richmond, VA, and the Franz Bader Gallery in Washington, DC,

continued the sculptural works and commissions. Some of which included

Richmond Times Building in Richmond, VA, Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA, John and Robyn Horn Collection in Little Rock, AR, John Allen

Collection in Buchannon, WV, and a new sculpture for Massey Cancer

Center in Richmond, VA.

In 2007 I established a new independent studio to concentrate on more

individual projects. In the past 10 years I have completed 6 major

residential commissions. Exhibitions have included a 2 person show at

Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, VA, 2009 ; a group exhibition at the

American University Art Museum, Washington, DC, in 2009-10 ; a group

exhibition at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC, in 2009-

2010 and a group exhibition at the Historical Society in Washington, DC, in

2010. In 2012, I attended an international blacksmithing

conference in Ukraine to make a sculpture.

I am presently working on a new series of sculpture for exhibition in 2017 and teaching most recently @ Peters Valley

Center for the Crafts in NJ, Touchstone Center for the Crafts in

Farmington,PA and Center for Metal Arts in Florida,NY California

Blacksmithing Assoc. Conference, Northwest Blacksmithing Assoc., BAM

Blacksmithing Assoc..Recent Publications include a portfolio in The Metal

Design International 2014 and Beauty in the Shadows, ironwork in the

Washington Cathedral by Nol Putnam.

I live in Charlottesville Va and my studio is located in an industrial complex

in Waynesboro, VA. It is about 1500 square feet filled with the usual

blacksmithing tools, 2 mechanical power hammers, a 60-ton press coal

forge and gas forge, 5 anvils of varying sizes and a multitude of hand tools

made and collected over 42 yrs. of forging. My work covers everything

from letter openers, small sculptures, gates and railings, and free

standing sculpture. Over the years I have met and briefly worked with Paul

Zimmermann, Freddie Habbermann, Serge Marchal, probably the three

most important influences in my ironwork outside the Yellin Studio. Other

influences include Robert Motherwell, Alberto Giacometti, Franz Kline and

Frank Stella and Eduardo Chillida to mention a few.

My sculptural direction consists of making abstract sculpture using

traditional forging techniques and tools, applying the principles of Chaos

Theory, formalizing the coincidental and emphasizing the conscious

process behind seemingly random forms.