Transforming scrap iron into functional objects.

Las Vegas, Nevada On Etsy since 2010

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Transforming scrap iron into functional objects.

Las Vegas, Nevada | 1,043 Sales

Announcement    Everything in my shop is made from scrap. Better to make things from it than let it go to waste.


Last updated on Mar 3, 2018

Everything in my shop is made from scrap. Better to make things from it than let it go to waste.



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Jennifer Gilbert

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Jennifer Gilbert


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About urbanIron

Sales 1,043
On Etsy since 2010

Form + function

It is not easy for me to describe all the aspects of what I do and why I do it in a concise and clear way. I'm going to try, but please forgive me if I ramble or somehow follow an inexplicable tangent. I really don't want to use marketing words and phrases to talk about my very personal process. (Dang 1st tangent)

For some years, (because I don't want you to think I am really really old, I won't tell you how many) I've been making custom hardware and furnishings. I still do. It can be boring but it can also be rewarding. Making hardware involves more than just aesthetic considerations. It takes time and thought to make it work properly. Making things that are interesting to look at but that also work is what drives me to make things. ( What a lovely circular sentence. ) I am driven to make things and if it weren't for the economic imperative, I would happily aspire to the life of the mad potter of Biloxi. I would just make things and put them in a shed or give them away. Sadly, I need to eat. That is why I charge for the things I make.

There is another aspect to my work that brought me to this venue. I have leftovers. Steel, iron, aluminum, brass, bronze....all materials come in predetermined sizes and there are always leftover bits. I could take these leftover chunks, called scrap, to the scrap yard for recycling, but I see that as incredibly wasteful. The process of making metals consumes a lot of energy. There is no such thing as "green" manufacturing, but there are more and less wasteful ways of manufacturing. I have chosen to follow the less wasteful path by using my scrap pile to make things whenever possible. For the things I make on this site, and on the independent site that I hope to start soon, I use materials exclusively from my scrap pile. It's not really a pile but that's what it's called. I don't buy any new material to make these objects which is, perhaps, why they don't seem to be entirely consistent. I used to call these things studies. Small objects that helped me learn a new skill or process an idea, but studies implies that they are incomplete. They are complete.

The last thing I want to say about my process and "self" is that often the finished product looks nothing like the original material. This is a special transformation to me. I think it is hard to imagine in metal, but it is akin to the knitter taking a string and making it into a blanket. You can see the string in the blanket, but it has been entirely transformed. The transformation is a beautiful thing. It takes power and focus and determination and just a little bit of magic. It is a profoundly positive and uplifting experience and a gift that stays in the object. It is the gift that every artisan gives to every object to carry forth.

Now back to the earthly plane.....

Please visit www.urbanIron.com for more

I have a blog and I do occasionally post. If you are interested in my process, take a look at it.

I believe in micro entrepreneurship. Thanks you for supporting makers, artisans and micro entrepreneurs. ( and I really need to learn to spell that )

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  • Jennifer Gilbert

    Owner, Artisan

    Most of my career has been spent making custom hardware and furnishings for interior designers. I enjoy working with designers and, through this collaboration, I have expanded my skill set as an artisan and an engineer.

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