• You have no bookmark.

Your Wishlist : 0 listings

Sign In

Stephen LeBlanc Metalsmithing

Stephen LeBlanc, a 20-year tenant at The Shirt Factory in Glens Falls, blends the artistic elements of sculpture with the craft of metalsmithing to create jewelry and flatware that reminds people of the form and fashion of nature.

“I do not strive to duplicate, but to integrate elements of these organic forms in each one of my pieces,” he said.

LeBlanc, who grew up in Maine, aspired to an artisan career when, as a student at Skidmore College, he enrolled in a sculpture class in 1994. His interest evolved to metalsmithing, and he returned to Maine to study the ancient craft in night classes at the Maine College of Art, and he did an internship with metalsmith Ronald Hayes Pearson, who the American Craft Council calls “one of the true pioneers of the postwar American craft movement.”

A metalsmith is an artisan who works with all types of metal, rather than specializing in specific metals, such as a blacksmith, who works with iron and steel, or a coppersmith, who works with copper.

“It’s as much about metal and what you can do with metal as it is about forms,” LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc said The Shirt Factory is more vibrant now than it was 20 years ago. Back then, it didn’t take him long to make the rounds from his studio to visit other artists.

“I’d talk to the two other people in my building and come back,” he said.

His reasons for leasing space there – affordability, flexibility of space, natural lighting, and industrial power – are the same.

“I wasn’t looking for luxury. I wanted functionality,” he said.

Initially, his business was about half retail and the other half wholesale.

Now it is mostly retail, which has a higher profit margin and requires less traveling. He travels to a handful of retail craft shows each year. “I try not to go farther than five hours,” he said.

LeBlanc has a retail shop in Suite 101 on the first floor, inside the 21 Cooper Street entrance to The Shirt Factory.

Interview by Maury D. Thompson, photography by Behoff PhotoThe Shirt Factory, 21 Cooper St., Glens Falls

Visit his directory listing

Verified by MonsterInsights