About the Artist
"I create cool classical ironwork from the inferno of the forge."
Sculptor/Blacksmith Craig Kaviar has been creating functional art at his studio in Louisville for the past 30 years. In addition to artistic handrails, Kaviar has created signature sculpture for Norton Hospital including: an Apple Tree representing good health and a copper/bronze fountain in the courtyard Owensboro Hospital Complex. His work also adorns the Downtown Louisville Public Library, as well as many churches, homes, and business throughout the region.
Kaviar is among the Commonwealth’s most prominent artists. His work was featured on the Home and Garden TV network show, “Modern Masters,” and has appeared in a number of books illustrating the art of ironwork. His work was featured at the World's Fair in Japan, located in the United States Pavilion. In 2000, the Sister Cities of Louisville program sent Kaviar on a cultural exchange to Mainz, Germany to celebrate Johann Gutenberg’s 600th anniversary. In commemoration, he created a three-dimensional Gothic “G” featuring a carved portrait of Gutenberg.
In addition to working with glowing hot temperatures to shape unyielding materials as if they were clay, Craig Kaviar also shares this mystical experience by teaching others. He works with apprentices on a daily basis, and teaches occasional classes at his studio. While he is influenced by contemporary sculpting giants Diego Giacometti and Alexander Calder, his process derives from ancient metalworking methods. His work is a combination of elegant lines and hand-wrought texture. The organic adornments of birds and leaves are often showcased in his art, particularly his landscape architecture and glass-topped tables and chairs.
Kaviar also repurposed his tools: the 200 pound Chambersburg Air Hammer that was originally built to be carried on a World War II battleship and a 200 ton press purchased from the Charlestown Ammunition Plant. Kaviar stated, ”I feel that by reusing this machinery of war for the making of artwork, I am in a small way helping to turn swords into plowshares.”
Kaviar is an alumnus of Tufts University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and has studied at the Boston Museum School. In addition to passionately creating metalwork for over 30 years, he also owns Kaviar Gallery. Located on the same premises as the forge, in the Clifton neighborhood, the public can view examples of Craig Kaviar's work (by appointment only).