Videos of me!
Martin Moon is a Pennyslvania-based metal artist who works primarily with copper and silver to make both decorated functionalware and jewelry. He began studying metalsmithing seven years ago, graduating from Earlham College with a metals-concentrated Art major and minors in Art History and Biology. Martin then spent the next spring apprenticing in Turkey and learning traditional Turkish coppersmithing. He began teaching at Westtown School in 2014 and has begun to develop a metals program at the school. In 2015 Martin joined Montgomery School for their yearly Visiting Artist Program. In 2016 Martin began selling his work at craft shows, and opportunities abound!
than nine people from the Chamber, from the government, NGOs, masters, and translators. They were as excited about the idea as we were and after a few months, the logistics were finalized. Five masters, including Celal, along with a translator, came to Earlham the next year to teach an intensive class. The students, and no one more than I, had an absolute blast. We would hammer all day and then make delicious Turkish food in the evenings. At the end of the class, Celal invited me to come back to Turkey with them to continue studying. I bought my ticket to go the spring after I graduated from Earlham.
Had I ever thought I was in metals heaven before, it paled in comparison to my apprenticeship in Turkey. The Chamber of Coppersmiths got me set up with everything I could ever want, and all I had to do was get there. They gave me a nice apartment, delicious food, instruction, tools, and material to work with. I lived and trained in Gaziantep throughout the spring of 2013, hammering all day, six days a week, constantly drinking Turkish tea, eating fresh and hot kebabs, and taking frequent backgammon breaks. Celal would have me over to dinner and to spend the evening with his family every other night, who were incredibly welcoming.
I returned home from Turkey and continued to set up my metals studio at my house. I kept busy taking various commissions, and also began teaching at Westtown, a small and wonderful Quaker boarding school in West Chester, Pennsylvania, as a teaching assistant in the Middle School. As the summer programs at the school were revamped, I had the opportunity to take the first steps toward starting a metals program there. I taught 8-12 year olds Turkish coppersmithing for three months, with fantastic results. They picked up the techniques with startling speed, and many kids quickly progressed to a state where their ability to chisel far overshadowed their ability to draw. Some began taking full size patterns that I had intended to chisel myself and adopt the projects as their own. A building was renovated for our use, and the program has continued to thrive. More recently I have begun teaching after school classes for the same age range, and hoping to expand to highschool and adults soon.
Last year I took the plunge to take my business to the next level. I applied and was accepted into a number of juried craft shows over the course of the year, and I enjoyed bringing my work into the public eye. This year I have my sights set upon the top shows in the country. I was accepted to the ACC Baltimore and the Smithsonian shows, which are two of the best. Exciting things coming!
I got into an introductory metals class my freshman year at Earlham college, and it changed my life forever. I found it exciting and explorative, and the style of work helped balance my science-focused academics. I later went on to take my focus from science and place it entirely on metals, and to pursue metals as a career, all thanks to the wonderful support of my family and friends urging me to follow my passions.
At Earlham I studied under Nathan Jones, a brilliant metalsmith and teacher, and an exemplary human being. I found that I most enjoy traditional manipulation of metal, using hammers and torches to create. I love how work, in the physics sense, is reflected in every hammerstroke upon metal, and how with the completion of a piece it is obvious to any observer the care that the maker put into it. Working with metal gives me the opportunity to do the absolute best I can with a task. Doing my very best is how I both celebrate and express gratitude toward my experience. I strive for perfection with any piece I make, and understand that perfection is unattainable. But that striving means I am doing my best.
Through Earlham, I traveled to Turkey on an intensive art history class that studied the traditional arts of Turkey. It was led by my metals professor, Nathan, and I was accompanied by many of my metals friends. Walking through the Southern city of Gaziantep one day, we heard hammering and went to investigate. We found what I later came to know as the Gaziantep Chamber of Coppersmiths, which ran a vocational school to teach low income women technical metals skills. Women take a five month course, and upon completion are given chisels with which to work, and often hired back by the school to teach and produce work for the tourist market.
We were in heaven. The masters working there immediately picked up on our enthusiasm and threw us right into the mix, giving us chisels and hammers and teaching us the traditional methods of Turkish coppersmithing. As we worked, Nathan talked with Celal Açik, the president of the Chamber. Nathan joked that they should come teach at Earlham. Within an hour, he found himself in a meeting with no fewer