Northwind - Part 1

See also Northwind - Part 2

Please click on the photos to see a larger image.

The Journey Begins.

The Northwind brings change. Sometimes a dramatic storm, a swirl of luminescent clouds, or a sensation that precipitates an uneasy ambiance in the valley. Colossal gusts, howling, trees bending, everything moving and swaying. The birds and insects disappear. fades. Vitality is restored and a pleasant stillness remains. Every grace of nature resurfaces.

This is the natural phenomena that inspired "Northwind". I've created a hammer to exemplify the inhale, expansion, and release of the wind.

12 people/24 weeks/1 hammer

I will package the Northwind Hammer, decide a recipient, ship the hammer, and the journey begins. The first recipient uses the hammer, imparts and impregnates their essence into the steel, and in 2 weeks...the wind blows, another person of their choice receives the hammer. This process will continue. After 24 weeks and 12 people, the hammer returns to me.

I have asked each individual to snap a few photos of "Northwind" in their workshop. There is also an aluminum plaque each person will stamp with their touchmark. Later, I will inlay the aluminum plaque into the hammer handle. As the story unfolds I'll add updates to the "Northwind" link on the website.

Let's see where the wind takes us...

Northwind's first stop.

David Browne Metal Design, Ramona, CA

Northwind's second stop.

Fred Crist in Waynesboro, VA

February 5, 2015

(Text below written by Fred Crist. Fred received the Northwind Hammer from David Browne.)

"The Santa Anna winds and a Nor-Easter blew some packages my way today. I thought it fitting to display them both together, one a tool of the trade, the other an inspiration of where to go. To paraphrase Jasper Johns: "Take an object, do something to it, do something else to it and do something to that, because ideas do not come from thin air, they come through work." Fitting that the tool will now be used to create and bring into reality an idea. Thank you David Browne for sending me the hammer (The Northwind Project) and Brent Bailey for this intriguing idea and tool. 2 Weeks to see what I can do with it, before I send it somewhere else. I will post the process and results."

"Northwind Project 1st step. First you forge the tongs to hold the sculpture. You may notice an oddity about the tongs, but all will be revealed."

February 17, 2015

"The Northwind project is now finished for this Blacksmith. It has made me think about an old idea and put it into another context. Sometimes new tools inspire you in a direction you did not expect. This one did. Now it is time to pack the hammer up and send it on its journey. Thank you David Browne and Brent Bailey for this unique opportunity."

Northwind's third stop.

February 22, 2015

John Winer/Laughing Crow Forge

Mountain City, Tennessee

February 25, 2015

"Day 5 and the NORTHWIND HAMMER PROJECT descends into complete Chaos!!!"

March 10, 2015

"I call this piece The Winds of Change. As the March winds blow, the Northwind Hammer is blowing south once again. This time it is traveling to Austin Texas to the shop of Haley Woodard! I've enjoyed my time with this interesting Hammer and look forward to seeing which direction it meanders and what creations it forges

Northwind's fourth stop.

March 12, 2015
Haley Woodward
Austin, TX

March 19, 2015

"Big hammers making little hammers."

Northwind's fifth stop.

March 29, 2015

Andy Dohner
North Carolina

April 5, 2015

"The concept we are using with the northwind is one hammer, eleven students. Together we are working on a sculpture of a astrolabe."

Bottom photo of finished astrolabe.

Northwind's sixth stop.

April 21, 2015

Jim Mastersons shop

"A shot of the hammer on the Anvil at the Museum with the Mississippi in the back ground.. look forward to forging with it."
Jim Masterson

Brent Bailey Forge ®

3626 County Road P

Orland, California, 95963

Phone: 530-228-5388

Email Brent Bailey -

Last update - 5/16/15