About the Artist
John Winer’s road to blacksmithing started with a radio show at the University of South Carolina at seventeen and as a street musician on the streets of New Orleans. By twenty-one he was performing in bars, festivals, on street corners and in prisons in almost forty states. In his thirties he took up organic market farming in the mountains of East Tennessee (where he resides today). Unable to make a living selling produce and needing tools and contraptions for the farm John became an itinerant Millwright and welder thus paving his way to blacksmithing.
Today, as a professional artist and blacksmith he produces high end architectural work as well as furniture designs for a leading iron furniture company. His work can be seen in magazines such as the Anvil’s Ring, The Hammer’s Blow, Furniture Style Magazine, High Country Magazine and Kitchen Trends Magazine. His work also graces the pages of books including: From Fire to Form, Ironworks Today 3 and The Art of Community, the Janet Jim Ayres Collection.
John Winer runs a blacksmithing shop on his farm near Johnson County, Tennessee. His approach to design is much like his musical endeavors, improvisational and concentrating on the fluidity and motion of line.
Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina, 2011; Eastern School of Farriery, Martinsville, Virginia, 2000; J.C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, North Carolina, 1997; University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, coursework in art studio, 1979
As an Artist- Blacksmith ventureing farther and farther outside of my comfort zone, I find myself relying more and more on forging iron as a way of expressing thoughts and emotions. Life's abstractions seem to manifest themselves as twists and spirals, bends and helix’s. Always there is song, always there is dance, always there is motion.
I search for motion and try to interpret it into iron. Music, fire and rhythm, help me find that “flow” that “Progression”. Once that flow , or wave is found, the piece takes on a soulful expression of movement. My shop is my sanity/insanity zone, and in the pieces I work on, I can see the different dramas, joys and heartaches of life transform themselves into the hard won lessons that life teaches.
Every finished piece is a gift, a resolution . Each is a steppingstone with a purpose all it's own. And each piece seems to live, with a soul all it's own. Finding that soul, is the reason why I forge iron.
- Cattails on the Water. 3' x 2.5' wrought iron fire screen enclosure. Poolesville, Maryland residence.
- Dreams. 3.5' x 3.5' wrought iron wall sculpture in The Art of Community: Jim and Janet Ayers' Collection of Tennessee Art. FirstBank, Nashville, Tennessee. This piece hangs in the office
of Janet Ayers.
Residential wrought iron home furnishings, Butler, Tennessee:
- Dancing in Love. Fire screen enclosure and sculpture
- Welcome Night and Day. 16' x 8' property entrance gates
- Lover's Knot. Three-story, 75' interior railing with forged vine balustrade and adjoining wall sculpture
- The Silent Rejoyce. Art Nouveau interior railing named in honor of the artist's mother
- 40' exterior railing, rhododendron motif
- 8' balcony with small chandelier, rhododendron motif
- Three portico chandeliers, 5' diameter (2) and 3' diameter (1)
- Hinges in ornate contemporary style for eight interior doors
- Ornate wrought iron fire screen enclosure, small fire screen, three sets of fireplace tools.
- Blowing Rock Residence, North Carolina, 6' diameter, two-tiered wrought iron chandelier, two fire screen inserts, fireplace tools, and wall sconces. Linville, North Carolina residence.
- Wildwoods. 35' wrought iron exterior organic railing. Mountain City, Tennessee residence.
- Riverbirch Lodge, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 11' diameter wrought iron chandelier with Texas longhorns (with Mark W. Read and Cristy Dunn); 45' wrought iron organic railing, bar table, and door pulls
- 126' wrought iron organic interior railing. Private residence, Valle Crucis, North Carolina
- 70' wrought iron exterior railing, 14' footbridge, and entrance rails. Banner Elk,
North Carolina residence.
- 19' Victorian exterior railing. Hound Ears Club, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
- Designer and collaborator, Charleston Forge, Boone, North Carolina
Designed the Legacy and Tangle lines of contemporary, wrought iron home furnishings. Legacy is a collection of casual dining room furniture featuring unique joinery and a heavily hammered surface. Tangle is a group of one-of-a-kind tables made up of bent up "bull pins" forged from recycled steel and welded together in a random pattern for a playful look. Includes pub tables and bar stools, pedestal tables, end tables, and coffee tables. Both lines have sold in all 50 states.
- 1997 Hoof picks, barn hardware, and hay racks for local tack shop
- Knives, wrought iron candlesticks, and small gates for sale at craft fairs and for display at juried art shows
2014 Training an apprentice in blacksmithing techniques
2013 One of three U.S. smiths invited to participate in the 11th Annual International Blacksmithing Festival, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
1997 Member, Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America