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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Forging a new career in art

METALWORK has been a lifelong trade for 33-year-old John Rutherford, but he has recently branched out into the world of artistic metalwork for the home and garden.

Span-tastic: John Rutherford created the footbridge at the man-made lake.

John set up a forge and workshop in a barn on his partner's family farm near Kiln Pit Hill and now Fairley Forge is producing functional pieces alongside works of art for simple admiration.

Examples of John’s work can be found dotted all around Fairley Farm; a gate into the garden, a scratching post for the cattle and an arched rose bower.

John said: “I created the scratching post from galvanised steel and based it on a twisted tree stump. The cows seem to approve but it appeals to the farmers as well as it sits well against the skyline.”

All the functional pieces are worked with care and each also has a decorative element making them pleasing to the eye as well as serving their purpose.

The more abstract pieces of work include a giant spider’s web with a steel arachnid poised menacingly in the centre and along the farm driveway, a sword in the stone harking back to the days of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

The showpiece of them all lies tucked away in a field off the farm track, a wood and metal bridge that spans the man-made lake in the meadow area.

The bridge is the piece of which John is most proud, he explained: “I wasn’t arty at school and I left at 16 to do an engineering apprenticeship but now after learning the trade I produce my work from scratch, right from the design to the finished product.”

A Prudhoe lad, John attended Prudhoe High School and later trained as a fine blacksmith and artistic designer with William Pym, at his sculpture business in Langley.

Now after branching out on his own John is hoping to attract commissions from people looking for decorative or functional art work for their homes, gardens and businesses.

As a local businessman he aims to source, produce and sell all of his work in the local area. He gets his raw materials from Consett.

For more information contact John on Jonone@btinternet.com or call 01207 563005