Blacksmith and metal working demonstration at the Orcas Center

Submitted by the Makers Guild

With the orange hot forge burning, seeing hard metal forms heated and turning to pliable shapes that are pounded under an artist’s hammer, is an amazing transformation of materials and form. At Zack Leck’s blacksmith shop on Orcas Island there are teams of workers – and learners of all ages – discovering the alchemy of steel and bronze. From small wall hooks to 40-foot-long public art sculptures, Zack is hammering the imagined into solid form, creating both utilitarian and fine art forms.

Intrigued by kinetic movement and balance, there are gates that open effortlessly with unexpected counterweights, ginkgo leaves that twirl in suspended sculptures, crabs that seem ready to climb the wall, and a bird feeder that is over 12’ tall with multiple suspended forged bronze bowls. Scattered across the islands there are madrona and tree branch railings, gates made of found and reused agricultural tools, fanciful swings for young and old, archways and gazebos that are full of life and heart – all thanks to the wonderful imagination of Zack Leck. Children are whooping down the slide and climbing structure at the Orcas Village Green, and ferry goers can walk along an extensive metal kelp forest at the ferry landing.

This Friday, Sept. 30, Leck is setting up a blacksmith and metal working demonstration at the Orcas Center and will have work on display during the Island Bounty exhibit. You are invited to come see his work in action and to enjoy his sculptural metal and wood creations. Opening party is 4-7 p.m. and free to the public.

See more about Zack’s work at