I am a blacksmith artist making hand forged architectural elements, furniture and sculpture. I strive to create work that invites the viewer’s touch with a tactile, appealing surface. I fashion organic, botanical forms using abstract, contemporary aesthetics to achieve my goal of creating well-proportioned and timeless functional art. As a blacksmith I work to push this traditional approach to new boundaries, making new methods, built on the old to create furniture and architectural elements for a contemporary collector. My goal is to create work that is not only functional but is beautiful high quality that pushes the viewer’s beliefs in what steel can do.
I am Kathleen Yano Lapso and I am a second generation metal sculptor. My father was also a metal sculptor and I started going to shows with him when I was 8 years old. I am very fortunate to be the youngest of 6 children and the only girl; having 5 older brothers, my father made sure that I could do whatever they could. I learned to weld when I was 12 and worked in his studio throughout my teenage years; they were some of the best times of my life. With no heat in his studio, working in a dirty metalworking shop during the Northeast Ohio winters, no one could tell me from my dad when I had on my thermals, hat and respirator. My father was a POW during WWII for 1 ½ years-what an experience that must have been at 18 years old for my dad and his fiancee (my mom) who was working hard, waiting for him at home. (The Greatest Generation for sure.) I loved and respected them both tremendously. They will always be my heroes. “Work hard, play hard…live life to the fullest! And nothing is as important as family…all the rest is just stuff!” In 1980, I married my best friend, Dale. Our three children are also my best friends — no matter what I create, I will always consider them to be my best and favorite masterpieces. In 1984, I graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I worked in the intensive care unit in hospitals through out Cleveland, but I had always been drawn to metalworking. So, in 1985, as a hobby I started a line of jewelry and had my first art show. In time, the work grew larger and larger into what it is today – I like to call it “Jewelry for Walls.” I do around 25 shows a year in Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, DC, Kentucky, Florida, and Indiana. Many of my sculptures can be found in Marriott Hotels, doctor/dentist offices and other commercial locations besides countless private homes. I create my sculptures using copper, aluminum, brass, and bronze, and weld them with an oxygen/acetylene torch. All the colors are created using many patinas, dyes, paints and heat. I can’t draw worth a darn, but I absolutely love designing and I feel that I bring a feminine touch to metalwork. I guess going to all those art shows when I was growing up was worth it! I do all my own designing, metal work, matting and framing. No assistants or apprentices are used. Home visits are available for experiencing my work in your home. Thank you for your interest in my work. I am truly blessed to be able to do something that I love. Living life to the fullest!
Rob Caperell resides in Frederick County, Virginia. He is a self employed artist/blacksmith, best known for his hand-forged ironwork. He designs, as well as individually makes, each piece of his work. Rob has acquired his knowledge and skills from fellow blacksmiths in both formal and informal settings. His design aesthetic is the result of a lifetime of critical observation and interpretation.