After obtaining a B.A. in Studio Art, I began a career in metal fabrication, where I developed the technical skills to start my own business and brand, Joy Fire Metalwork. In 2016 I attended a residency in Colorado where I forged the series Artifacts which was shown at the Telluride Arts District. Through my current residency at The Mystery Ranch, I expanded my practice to include film photography with antique cameras. In 2019, I received a grant to attend a sculpture workshop in Montana where I learned new techniques to push my forging practice. That same year, my Reclaimed Stories series was shown in Peoria Illinois as part of a citywide celebration of female identified artists working in steel. In 2020 I entered the MFA program at CGU where I am refining my artistic language and goals.

I also continue to work at my shop in Santa Ana, where I create commissioned pieces and develop my sculptures. I am a Certified Instructor with the California Blacksmith Association, a Certified Welder with the American Welding Society, a Community Education Instructor in blacksmithing and bronze casting, and a Welding Instructor at Orange Coast College. Also, I have published articles in the magazine California Blacksmith and am a board member with the nonprofit organization Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths, whose goal is to provide opportunities for women and other minorities in the field of blacksmithing.

Artist Statement

My work begins with an object or objects built using blacksmithing methods, which act as seeds for the broader work. They next become subjects in film images created with antique cameras in specifically chosen physical settings. Then they are built into installations using the objects and photographs. This results in an experience that activates multiple senses and allows multiple paths for the experiencer to place themselves within the narrative of the work. Every layer of various mediums and presentation acts as another tug of gravity, pulling the experiencer in to engage their imagination and memory. Feeling, weather it is physical, emotional, imagined, or remembered, is ultimately the experience of reality, and there is nothing more sublime than what is True and Real.

Artwork by Joy Fire


Art Department