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New World New Work

center table top view
helix table
helix table. 32x44x18


small cabinet

medium cabinet
cabinet with shelf. fits most liquor bottles and stemless glasses 24x16x16 cabinet 18″ total



16x14x14 cabinet

ouros mirror
mirror. 41x20x6″ shelf


large cabinet
32x18x16 shelf at 14″ from the bottom

wall hung table
this table hangs off the wall and balances on its center leg. it is 32x36x17



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2019 Smithsonian Craft show, Teaching, and links


I will be exhibiting at the Smithsonian Craft Show from April 25-28 2019 in Washington DC check it out here and start to make your arrangements.  I’m making an entire new body of furniture work for the show.

Following that I’ll be teaching for the Maine Craft Association at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Calculate, Isolate, and redistribute.  This class is full but I’ll be teaching at Peters Valley Craft School from July 5-9, sign up now!

I’ll be speaking on a panel with some of my heroes at the amazing Bryn Athyn Cathedral outside of Philadelphia for the Iron Symposium from June 14-16.  This is where to be for contemporary ironwork

From August 19-30 I’ll be teaching a wild sculpture workshop at the New Agrarian School.  We’ll Make the school its signpost in  a whirlwind two weeks.  Find out more and enroll.  This class will be very special and in an incredibly well equipped shop.

I also look forward to collaborations and visiting with people along the way.

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Leavings: A Rachel David and Shawn Hall Collaboration

Rachel and Shawn both make work inspired by the natural world, even as their individual art takes very disparate form and uses wildly divergent materials from each other. Rachel is a metal smith working with forged steel on a large-scale and Shawn is a painter and multimedia artist working with video, installation and performance.

The concepts surrounding their work; Shawn’s focus on environmentalism and Rachel’s keen awareness of social justice issues, are inextricably intertwined in the real world  – and it’s this intersection that the new collaborative work explores.

Their 4-month exhibition will include 4-5 pieces of large-scale interactive sculpture of forged steel, fabric, video and sound.

Where and when:

Leavings: a Rachel David & Shawn Hall collaboration will open on November 17, 2017 during Prospect 4 as a satellite exhibition and will run through February 28, 2018 with open hours 10am – 5pm daily Wednesday – Sunday. The gallery location is 9

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Holding Pattern

Rachel David at Barrister’s
New Orleans Art Insider – Sunday, December 27, 2015

The tension and anxiety of the term, holding pattern, implies play between a stifling still place and a place to reach out from and to push against limitations. The initial sentiment is one of being stuck in a situation helplessly. The theme behind holding pattern is the transformation from a trap to an opportunity.

This show reflects the last two years of thoughts and my development as an artist and blacksmith. There are deeply personal ramifications represented within this body of sculpture.

My work is inspired by my dreams, my life and my process of metalworking. As my process evolves while building the work, it affects my life and dreams. The whole pattern is one I hold close and repeat and ritualize. I hold something, or someone, or some idea closely and cycle it through my mind’s eye, building a pattern from the cycle and creating a visual word to build a sentence or rather sculpture from. The work expresses some of my deeply held emotions: sorrows, ideas of social justice , and pushing the limits of expectations at all times. Forging is an inherently transformative process.

The worm is in a holding pattern. It builds the cocoon around it, there is a mile of silk in each cocoon and the moth; transformed, emerges and flies away.

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Artistic blacksmith Rachel David brings steel sculpture to Poydras Street – September 02, 2015

Hand forged steels (mild, a­588, and 8600 series mack truck axle), zinc, patinas, oil, lacquer.

Thanks to Cembell industries.

“Weft” ­ the yarn that threads through the weaving.

This sculpture represents the balance between community responsibilities and individuals’ contributions. All caught in a weaving metaphor and depicted by abstracted bodies. The velvety rusty steel represent sinuous torsos offset to support the springy resilience of a working body’s arms and shoulders. These arms hold individuals, disparate in their orientations but woven together. A community that is firmly rooted supports those who succeed as well as those who are trying. The tension in this sculpture represents how community has been perverted by capitalism, corruption and greed resulting in institutionalized racism and sexism leading to devastating poverty and displacement.

Through my art I seek to represent the depths of human despair as well as the magical manic intensity of joy and love. As an artist, I use blacksmithing techniques to express emotions and intentions in iron and steel, materials naturally found in the center of the earth, our blood and outer space. The simple forging processes are the building  blocks of my visual vocabulary allowing me to manipulate space, line, mass, and void to create the shapes that convey my reactions to life events. I heat the material to stretch it, to split and rejoin it, to put a hole in it or to make it more massive. Each of these highly symbolic processes build the vocabulary of forms that layer together to tell stories. By manipulating steel I create forms that express fear, protectiveness, sensuality, violence, support and communication. I use repetition and pattern to drive compositions to create a sense of movement and urgency or contemplative reflection.

The weave of “weft” represents the rhythm of breath: the sharp snorts of deep weeping and the sighs calmed by love. This sculpture presents a platform for thought.

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Sitting Prone

A series of 19 sculptures produced for Barrister’s Gallery.   Sitting prone: Grasping the idea of risk taking, sitting on the edge, maybe hovering: vulnerable.  Waiting for something to happen… Thinking about patience being a virtue, but recognizing that the inherent fact of life is risk.  Art as an exercise in futility. Sitting Prone </> Holding pattern