"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Artist and Blacksmith Tom Spence will share his craft at the Elizabeth Bishop Festival

Born in Springhill, N.S., in 1953, Tom Spence, CD, BFA, moved a lot as a child in a military family, but was given every opportunity to draw and learn about art. He spent uncounted hours with the Jon Nagy “Learn to Draw” kit and was enrolled in a two-year correspondence art course as a young teen. After high school, he enrolled at Xavier College in Sydney, N.S., in hopes of attaining a degree in Fine Arts. Alas, it would not happen as he enrolled in the Air Force a year later (and ever after kicked his butt for not sticking it out in college).
Tom spent the next thirty-four years (retiring in 2007 with CD) in service to Canada, always involved in the art community in some way wherever he ended up. He studied gemmology and jewellery making, operated a stained glass business, sat as President of the Norlite Art Club in Cold Lake, Alberta, and created the occasional painting and drawing. Before retiring from the Air Force, he enrolled at the Nova Scotia College of
Art and Design University in Halifax, N.S., and graduated in 2008 with (finally) a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) with a major in Fine Art.
Tom's portable forge.
Tom also served as Treasurer for the Truro Art Society from 2013–2015 and participated in many of the society’s shows. Tom is also involved in blacksmithing, pottery, gem cutting, fine jewellery making, woodworking, wine making, beekeeping and rebuilding an antique car. He is currently involved in renovating an old farmhouse near Chester, N.S., with his wife, Alison.

Tom will set up his portable forge in the yard of the Elizabeth Bishop House. Bishop herself knew an artistic blacksmith, Mayhew (Mate) T.  Fisher, whom she called "Nate" in "In the Village."

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