My approach to ironworking was shaped by my lifelong friendship with blacksmith Francis Whitaker and a summer of study with master potter Marguerite Wildenhain.
In 1979, my wife Susan Livermore and I began building an adobe house in rural New Mexico. We dug into the hillside by hand, gathered tons of rock from the arroyos, making thousands of adobes, cutting vigas and latillas in the mountains. Those five years of work with materials amidst a culture that honored such endeavors changed us.
In 1985, we founded Christopher Thomson Ironworks.
I spend much of my time hiking, kayaking, and camping in the deserts and canyons of the Southwest. I often go alone, transported by the light, vastness, and geologic time made visible--marvelously random, while revealing the character of their material—expanding my ideas of organic beauty and rightness of form.
Today, I forge in white hot iron and bronze. Forms initially explored for their own sake find their way into my gates, railings, chandeliers, lamps, tables and chairs. Life experiences blending with the rich tradition of my craft, quietly pushing my work in unanticipated directions.
I improvise flute music to interact with magical places--music forging a middle way between emotions too subtle to capture in words and their final expression in metal.
My collectors and customers see all of this in my work though to me it still remains a mystery.
EDUCATION AND INFLUENCES
1967 Graduated Colorado Rocky Mountain School, in Carbondale, Colorado; learned beginning
blacksmithing from Francis Whittaker
1967-69 Attended Swarthmore College, studied engineering and pottery
1969 Studied pottery with master potter Marguerite Wildenhain at Pond Farm Pottery in Guerneville, CA.
1969 Studied at Pottery Northwest in Seattle, WA.
1971-75 Studied jazz and classical composition and performance at Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz, California
1958-present Classical flute education, improvised flute music
EDUCATION AND INFLUENCES
1985-present Marketing Director, Christopher Thomson Ironworks
1989 Kyra and Justine, our twin daughters, were born
1988-9 Attended Santa Fe Community College/Business Focus
1985 Founded Christopher Thomson Ironworks Studio
1980 Married Christopher Thomson, Ribera, NM
1973-1980 Scrimshaw Jewelry Artist
1971 Began drawing and painting
1971-Present Explored all painting media, but prefer watercolor
Attended art classes Santa Cruz Community College, CA;
life drawing classes Monterey, CA and Ribera, NM;
art classes UNM, Albuquerque
1971 Graduated University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida B.A., History and Education
1967 Attended Western College for Women, Oxford, Ohio
1966 Diploma, Carnegie High School, Carnegie, Pennsylvania