steel IS art
Jordan Gorle, BlackCat Metal Works.
With our installation named "steel IS art" presented by Blackcat metal works ,we would like to honor Hamiltons industrial heritage. By bringing Steel from the mills to the windows of Barton, while using our unique style to mix industry and nature, we have made a functional and beautiful addition to the city,AND street we love! The overall theme of our installation is to make lasting changes to a beautiful part of our city, that will attract small businesses or help existing entrepreneurs, while also being a tribute to Barton streets rich history.
This project addresses one important issue for any small business,but perhaps more so on Barton.st during these hard and uncertain times; SECURITY. Our installation makes this space safer, while still maintaining an esthetic that we hope will be appealing to renters, add value to this property and bring a certain lovleness to view, to an area that sometimes lacks the softness of nature.
Our blacksmithing studio is located on Barton street, giving this project special meaning for us. We are not the first blacksmiths to operate on Barton street. And we want our piece to pay tribute to that history as well.
Just a block west of this installation at 468 Barton st sits a small, slightly neglected building with a roll up door on the front. Behind this door sits a BIG part of Barton streets AND Hamiltons history. For many years, closing in the early 2000's, a blacksmith and mobile welder operated out of this building. This business had evolved from being a blacksmith and farrier shop. Boarding and shoeing horses that worked all over the city in the early 1900's. To this day there are stables located in the back half of the building; A hidden vestige to a time and way of life long gone. The arch design of the central pieces of our installation, with their speared tops, were inspired by the styling of a gate made and installed on this property decades ago.
Steel has always been a big part of Hamilton, you can't live here and not know the nickname Steel City! In 2015 Mayor Fred Eisenberg announced that "art is the new steel" in Hamilton. A slogan that has since become synonymous with the transformation seen along James.st. Finally, our installation speaks directly to this new trend. With it we say: "The impact of steel, and the people that worked in the cities many mills producing it, are as much a part of Hamiltons future as they are it's past".
Hamilton based artist & Blacksmith Jordan Gorle is by trade a fitter fabricator; working primarily in heavy industrial applications. Jordan grew up in rural Ontario and is one of 7 siblings. Times were often hard and all the kids of his family worked regular jobs from a young age. First working in a weld shop in 1994 at age 13, working with metal is almost all he has even known. In 2001 Jordan began experimenting with metal as an art form in trade school, at Northbays Canadore College. Pursuing this new found passion Jordan has studied under prominent Blacksmiths from around the world, including South Africa, Serbia, and the Ukraine. Jordan is a member in good standing of the O.A.B.A (Ontario Artistic-blacksmith Association) and has completed many high profile jobs. Including an 1800's Heritage home restoration project, and assisting with renovations at Torontos historic Casa Loma. Jordan works with his two sons, Daman and Keegan out of a small studio, called steel IS art on Barton st. In 2021 Jordan and steel IS art, partnered with a larger, well established Hamilton based company called BlackCat Metal Works. With their amazing design team, and logistic support Steel IS art has been able to make the move from craft tables to commercial applications. Our appreciation of them cannot be overstated.
535 Barton St. E
The ‘Anything is Possible on Barton’ exhibition is a neighbourhood wide art project that was selected for the Government of Canada’s My Main Street Community Activator program. This project is organized by the Barton Village BIA and funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the City of Hamilton. Thank you to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Canadian Urban Institute for supporting local communities and revitalizing our main streets.
Please check out the other 14 installations HERE.