Nol Putnam

“So why chose to pound iron? Why choose to stand in front of a 2000 degree fire in July? Why choose to make my hands black, my clothes dirty? And why, in God’s name, would anyone choose a profession where you get burned every day?I think these choices are often personal, but I think too, that they are rooted in our deep ancestral paths having to do with iron in our blood and iron in the fabric of the earth. For me it is all of that and more. My great, great grandfather was a blacksmith and carriage maker; my great grandfather was an engineer in the Navy and always tinkering with parts that had to be newly worked to keep the ships sailing; my grandfather likewise was an engineer and well knew his way around metal. And now in my generation, both my sister and I have been drawn to the manipulation of metal. So for me, ironwork is in my blood and also in my genes. And all the time I thought I had a choice!Using the four sacred elements of earth (iron), fire, air and water daily, I am not sure how much closer I could get to the essence of life. I walk from my house with my faithful Tye, around the pond, past the salt lick for deer, over the first of two small bridges, past the daffodils in the spring, past the old wall that reproachesme daily for not making it whole again, and up to the forge. On a good day I throw open the doors and let the sunshine flood the space.Still, today, after 35 years of forging, I still get the excitement of a new piece … of imagining it, of designing it, of creating it. Every day I get to work as an artist, an engineer, a coal carrier, an accountant, a teacher. Every day I get to work variously with my head, my heart and my hands. What’s not to love? The work continues to give me life.”-Nol Putnam

Find more information at

Nol Putnam
Nol Putnam
Nol Putnam

Youngblood Art Studio

6480 Main Street
The Plains, Virginia 20198
(540) 270-0402

Gallery Hours

By Appointment


Art Therapy
Classes & Workshops

Stay in the Loop

Join our email list for
upcoming gallery exhibitions,
classes and workshop schedules.