• How I move metal;
  • With fire, hammer, and heart is...
  • How metal moves me.

Michael Route is an award winning artist blacksmith known for the long flowing lines in his work. His curvaceous pieces could be described as organic art nouveau. Your eye follows his never ending lines around and around. He has found a nice balance to be complex, yet understandable. The work is crafted with much care and thought for purpose and dimension.

He established Red Iron Studio in his home town of Frederic, Wisconsin in 2008. He has since been creating and designing a wide range of work including signage, sculptures, railings, range hoods, benches and tables. His work can be found in parks, commercial spaces, and private residences across the country. Here are a couple of questions to get to know him better.

How did you get started?

I was fortunate to grow up with a dad who is a metalsmith. I had the tools and techniques for working metal at my fingertips from a very young age. I studied metal art in college, but it was 2 years after I graduated college that I had enough courage and support to venture out on my own. I started with the art fair circuit and as word got out I started doing a lot of commission work as well. My work changes every year as I discover and explore what I am capable of doing.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration really comes from working at the forge and exploring in the moment what I can physically do with the metal. I’ve found that I enjoy the challenge of making long graceful tapers and then bending them into shapes to be apart of a piece. Like the Haiku states, the process of working the material is really what gets me inspired to keep moving.