Artist’s statement of
Douglas Randall Thayer
Artist - Blacksmith

If we and future generations are to survive on this earth we must conserve and preserve. Conserve the remaining natural resources that are used to get us through everyday life and preserve the old methods, crafts, structures and machinery that helped get us where we are today.

Therefore you will see that in my work I have tried to do both. When I did paint watercolor and now when I work in a sketchbook part of my work is made up of old cars, trucks, machinery and buildings that were built in the first half of the 20th century. I am truly fascinated by these items. Fascinated by the way they were produced and given the lack of technology as compared to today, that they were produced at all. Old buildings in downtowns across this country are being destroyed to make way for glass towers. Old vehicles and machinery are rusting away in fields and barnyards. Old barns and farm steads are being allowed to decay into oblivion their owners not wanting to spend the money or time to keep them in shape. These structures and machinery must be preserved. And at the very least, be preserved by artists of all mediums.

In my work as an artist blacksmith I try, whenever possible, to re-use steel and other materials such as glass. Some of the old steel pieces such as gears or wheels or parts from old farm implements were a part of machinery that was used to build this country. Although some of my methods and machinery may be more modern than a blacksmith of a hundred years ago, I still strive to learn and preserve the old ways and methods and to gather and preserve the old machinery that would have been used in a smithy years ago. And if, as I travel this chosen path, I am able to teach and pass along what I have learned then I will be satisfied in knowing that I may have done my part to insure that future generations will survive.