David Cross

Fergus, ON

David Cross

Featured Sculpture

David Cross - Vitessence (steel, stainless steel, automotive paint)

Vitessence is sleekly stylish and wonderfully balanced. It exudes motion in its futuristic styling, leanness and graceful lines, just as David Cross intended it to.

Cross is a traditional metalworker, one of a select group of artisan blacksmiths working full-time in the craft in southwestern Ontario, north of Guelph. He and his fellow blacksmiths utilize traditional techniques to preserve the time-honoured aesthetics and practices while employing them to create modern works based on contemporary, cutting edge designs.

The owner /operator of Rio Bravo Ironworks, aka The Forge at the Gorge given its location above the Elora Gorge, Cross and his team create beautiful objects - both ornamental and practical - the old fashioned way.

"Our motto is integrity, strength, durability," he says. "That is exactly what you get, metal objects of every type and use that are hand-forged and fastened using old style methods. They are built to last, and the pride of accomplishment in manufacturing them is shared by pride of ownership."

The variety of metal work pieces is truly incredible. All are works of art in their own right - from scrolled, elegant gates, screens, railings and sign holders to ornate, one of a kind wall and table ornaments, candle holders, wine racks, utensil hangers and so much more – that are always practical and purposeful. They are simple and austere in their design, constructed to last and be cherished.

Cross has recently started a sister business called Elora Craftsman Lamp and Lantern, which adheres to the same principles: quality workmanship using traditional methods.

"The style we are emulating is middle to late 19th and early 20th century, the Arts and Crafts movement. Its aim was to revive the appreciation of handmade objects and their makers amid rampant industrialization. Low quality, mass produced goods were rejected as was decoration for its own sake. Natural materials, utility and attention to detail defined the beauty of items created in this style.

"All of our wares fulfill a practical need with designs that are pleasing and uncomplicated. Clean lines, geometric patterns and traditional joinery (rivets, collars, mortise and tenon) denote our works, as do hand forged textures and marks, they are part of the product’s authenticity. We don’t polish them out or hide them under paint layers.”

Vitessence however, is a slightly different beast. Here Cross has purposefully used a bright red finish of automotive paint to enhance the finished sculpture; the colour adds to the implied speed and motion.

A published poet, his skill as an artisan is apparent. With Vitessence, he has created a piece of stylish originality – of the here and now while alluding to the past and future both.


Artist's Sculptures