A Pinelands blacksmith has turned smithing into art.
Alon Fainstein, 45, held his first solo exhibition, Connect, at his studio in Maitland late last month.
The 19 pieces were forged from steel and combined leather, wood, glass and stone.
Alon has been a blacksmith for 20 years, but it is only in the past five – since leaving his business partner of 19 years – that he has been turning out pieces of art.
“I always wanted to create my own art, using steel as a medium, and the only way I knew that was going to happen is if I went on my own, and this solo exhibition is a showcase of my art.”
After high school, he studied graphic design, but wasn’t interest in pursuing that career at the time.
In his day job as a blacksmith, he makes gates, furniture and art pieces for his private clients.
He says he drew the inspiration for his exhibition from nature; the social, political and economic situations in the country as well as family and love.
His first piece was a chair called Connect which the exhibition was named after.
“There was no drawings; there was just a vision in my head, and when I made this chair, I connected with the materials and myself in a way that I never connected before.”
An interesting piece in the exhibition was Lightshedding, a giant light bulb forged from steel to bring love and light through art during a time of darkness.
He is very close to his family, and he dedicated his exhibition to his late father, Jeffrey Fainstein, who died seven years ago.
“I am getting inspiration continuously, and there are still a lot of pieces I want to make,” says Alon.
Visit www.alonfainstein.co.za for more information about Alon’s work.