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Simon Butler

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Personal statement

Here’s abit of back story. I’m Simon Butler and I have worked as the Metalwork shop technician at Bath School of Art and Design since 1990, yeah that’s 20 years! We used to have a forge, big, old and dirty, stuck right in the middle of the workshop in everyone's way. It had to go to make way for the modern era, early 20th century anyway. A guillotine, folding press and rolling machine arrived.

We went forward and forgot about the forge, making do with oxy-propane and later a farriers portable propane forge (hateful, wasteful thing). I started to miss that old forge, lighting it up, standing around waiting for stuff to heat up then the frantic hammering. It was so involving; immersed in the process you couldn’t walk away.

Students loved it too, an ancient connection back thousands of years, hearth and heart. I knew I needed to get a forge, and me being me, the only way I am gonna do this is to make one myself. How? by applying for some research money of course!

This is where I am today, research application successful (£450 thanks BSAD), my great work begins……

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