I am a talismanic metalsmith. My focus is the intersection of the human world with the worlds of spirit, through intention, devotion, and ritual/spellcraft. My intention as an artist is to build tools to aid in maximizing communication between these two (human and spirit) realms. I work in sterling silver, fine silver, and gold.
I've been involved in a variety of magical arts since my teens. I consider myself a sacred artist (to use Bri Saussy's term) and a dirt sorcerer. Sorcery being to my mind a core human talent, in some way the root of religions and culture. Dirt because my work is here, in this place, on this ground where I stand.
I've been a metal smith since the 1990's. I came to the work as the direct offspring of my magical/sacral work. I strive to bring the cleanest, clearest work possible to the table. To find a way to express meaning, intention, and devotion, either from recensions of symbology from magical/sacred traditions or wholly self/spirit derived imagery to bring about the aims of my clients. I consider my work to be essentially talismanic, i.e., intended for a magical purpose. Spirit vessels.
My goals are fairly simple:
First and foremost, to help create/increase connections & communication between my clients and their powers/spirits/deities/the 'field' or deep mind via my art. This is a large part of my life path, to aid spirit-and-spirit-worker to be better able to do their own particular work. This is one of the cornerstones of my work, my practice, and my path.
Second is to be of service to practitioners and seekers outside of my actual shop output- this is where the blog comes in, as well as the lovely opportunities I have been granted to assist in teaching at times. I don't see myself as good guru material (at all!) but I think I have a perspective on the magical/sacred arts that - perhaps 'is not commonly shared' is a good way to put it.
Third of course, is to be able to practice my art and make a living doing so. With the help of all my fantastic clients and supporters, this is happening - slowly, but still much faster than I expected when I began this project. I thank you!
My shop is in my temple. Or perhaps it’s the other way around? Or maybe a third way: My Shop is my Temple.
Yes, this is right. My shop is my temple. This is where I work my magic. This is where I show active, hands on, devotion to the Powers I respect and work with on a daily basis to -hopefully- transfer a touch of my love & devotion to my clients’ in relationship to their Powers/Spirits/Gods/magic relationships.
I would no more make a recording of my daily devotions set to play each morning at the altar across from my workbench than I would mass produce my jewelry. Perhaps when I can no longer make it by hand I’ll go there. But not without a fight.
So I make things what I call ‘the hard way’. Which is also to me ‘the right way’. Which is not right for everyone, or even available to everyone, I am very well aware. And there are decades of my life where it would have been difficult for me to afford my own work.
But… There is deep abiding joy in deciding on the few pieces I will make each week. To lay them out on a sheet of silver. To clear a space to begin the separation of element from element. To choose where it is best to start. Which drill for which opening. Which blade for each cut. Which music as background inspiration for the next hour, which incense to call to the Powers, which oil to anoint the sheet to bring it into alignment with the greater intention of the day, the hour, the cut, desire, talisman.
And then to prepare the elements for rebirth: the process of weeding out, which pieces have poor cuts and need to be remade, which files, sandpaper, abrasives to smooth which edge.
To stack the elements up, to feel for the correctness, the coming back together in a new form. Then the fiery birth itself, usually in two stages. Asking always for the blessings of the torch and metal. Red hot metal, flowing silver. Into the acid bath.
Then to the removal, the last of the shaping. Files, to level the edges and shape the bail. Then sandpapers of all types and grits to scratch the surface ever finer to that place where the scratches blend together and disappear into gleaming light. Beauty.
My shop is my temple. And it runs on love & devotion.
I look forward to working with you.
Aidan Wachter, October 2015
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