Farrier Artist Bruce Adamson (Video Interview)

―STREAMHORSETV, MISTY ADAMSON

Hi everyone! I’m Misty Adamson. I had the privilege of following Bruce Adamson (my father-in-love) around as he created a unique piece of art using a coal forge and a horseshoe. My family is extremely lucky to have Bruce shoe all of the horses in the barn. As long as I’ve known him, he’s always expressing his creativity in one form or another, whether that’s with drawing, painting, or sculpting. Be sure to watch the accompanying YouTube video above to see Bruce working on his craft and enjoy a look into who he is and what made him love creating so much below!

Bruce Adamson and his wife, Sheryl.

STREAMHORSETV: How long have you dabbled in art and what inspired you to be an artist?

BRUCE ADAMSON: Art is truly a passion. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw and make things with my hands. Art class in school was my favorite and the realism form of art has always been my style. I have always had an eye for detail of angles and lines of figures, be it houses, trees, mountains, horses, etc.; the detail of things has been a fascination to me to grasp and express in an art form.

What gave you the idea to start creating art out of horseshoes?

I would guess about 20 to 25 years ago, I started toying with this form of art. I have always drawn horse heads and necks. In fact, I remember getting spanked as a small child for drawing what I thought was a great picture of a horse head on the living room wall with a crayon! I have done watercolors and oil paintings also, so all that translated into this form of art as I had the used shoes piling up due to my part-farrier business.

Out of all the pieces you’ve created over the years, what was your favorite, and why?

I would say my favorite one was Pharaoh’s Horses. I made three upright horse heads from three shoes and arranged them on a wood base in the positions of the famous painting. It brought the painting into a 3D form and that was the beginning of the idea of creating the life-size 3D horse forms.

How many years did it take to perfect your craft?

Truly, it is still a work in progress, but I would say to get to the point that the art was consistently in my mind as appealing to the eye of the horse lover, as well as marketable, it would have been at the 10-year mark of creating them.

What inspires you to create?

The bible tells us that when God created man He said, “Let us make man in our own image.” That innate sense to build, make, and produce something unique is from that nature God placed in us. It is difficult to put into words other than I have a drive within to do this work, not to gain praise or honor for myself, but to just satisfy this longing to create. I find inspiration in my memories of beautiful horses we have owned and seen over the years, not just their physical attributes, but their personalities and attitudes and I try to project it into the art form.

Do you have a favorite memory or moment associated with your artwork?

The process of creating my first full-sized 3D Arabian head and neck. Up to this point, I had only made 2D figures but the challenge of making the left and right sides of a figure to be mirror images of each other was quite the task! I wanted it to be metal art, but also have the “look” of the breed of horse it was to reflect. When I finished that piece, I was hooked on the creative process of each curve, twist, calculation of size and attitude to be projected.

What is your advice for a beginner artist or someone struggling with their art?

For the beginner artist – find the art form you are most drawn to and work your craft. Most artists have a certain lean toward the style they want to do, so stay in that lane and it will continue to mature and grow into the look and feel you are wanting to sign your name to. For the struggling artist – there comes a time when your desire to do this for fun and do it because you are truly driven to accomplish it comes to a head. You may be at that crossroads and you will need to push through this in order to advance. We all have struggles and time restraints in everything we do, but as artists, we have those moments of clarity where we find the time to fulfill that vision or dream in our mind’s eye. Some art can be automatic, but most art is a “feel,” so wait on inspiration and as you mature in your work, you will find “that feel” more and more as you focus your mind on your goal. Also, have another artist or art critic in your life give their advice or ideas to help stimulate your thought process if you get stuck.

Take us through the creative process. How do you bring an idea for a piece to life?

For me, it starts with either a complete idea to accomplish or a general thought combined with what the steel will give me. In the complete idea, there is a knowledge of what I can usually do with the steel horseshoes to get the desired result, but the creative process of molding each piece is moment by moment to get it to size, balance, and the thought of movement. When I create a piece, my goal is to have it look like it is gazing off into the distance or reacting to outside influences, or just in its own world and dancing!

Size – how big do I want it to be?

Balance – can the piece stand alone or will it need support?

Conformation – Since I try to make the piece look as real as possible, I want it to have the proper proportions.

The important thing for me is to work through each step of the process in my mind with precision and discipline to not be satisfied with “okay” work – it needs to be my best effort. At the same time, I know that my best effort will improve as each piece is made.

What are your goals and dreams for the future?

Now that I am retired from my full-time job, I am able to commit more time to this passion. I anticipate creating hundreds of more pieces over the next 10 years. After all, Moses didn’t get started with his job until he was 80 years old! My goal is to have an apprentice one day and a few employees to help detail and seal the works of art before shipping. As my passion grows, so should the business!

Horses obviously inspire a lot of your work. How long have you been a horse lover?

I have been a horse lover since I was a child. As a family, we got our first part-Arabian horse when I was 11 years old and before that, we would visit family farms. My Uncle Roy and Aunt Dorothy had quarter horses and my Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Nancy had part-Arabians, Saddlebreds, Quarter Horses, and a pony named Ranger which we rode until we fell off! My sisters and I were able to take riding lessons and that sealed the deal for me. I always wanted to have horses in my life from then on. My father purchased a ½ Saddlebred/ ½ Arabian mare and we selected an Arabian Stud to breed her to and the result was my first horse to call my own, Tysh Mariah. She took me through my 10 years of 4H Horse and Pony and she passed at the ripe old age of 33. I met my wife of 44 years at 4H as kids and we became best friends. We have been riding through life together ever since. She is my best critic and advisor when I need an extra set of eyes on a new piece that needs to be tweaked. So as you can see, the love of horses has played a very important role in my life beyond artistry.

I want to say a huge thank you to Bruce for letting me follow him around.  He is an amazing person and quite an amazing artist, but more so, he’s a great dad and patriarch to our family.  The thing that I love about art is that it lets us express ourselves in a way that other outlets can’t.  There is no right or wrong, only what you see in your mind and what you create with your hands. 

If you’re interested in commissioning your own piece of art from Bruce, you can send him an email at bruce.g.adamson@gmail.com or visit his website at adamsonfarrierandmetalart.com.  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’m Misty Adamson and I’m the creative mind behind Adamson Equestrian. I started my blog as a creative outlet because my love for horses runs deep and I needed a place to let it out! I’ve come to find that they can push you WAY out of your comfort zone in such a positive way; a way that makes you a better person. A person that is more brave and willing to tackle new things!

Blog: Adamson Equestrian
YouTube: Adamson Equestrian
Instagram: Adamson.Equestrian
Facebook: TheAdamsonEquestrian
Twitter: @adamsonequestr1


This article was brought to you by StreamhorseTV in partnership with EQuine AMerica Magazine.
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