I always love walking into an artist’s workshop. There is something captivating about the chaos that surrounds their creativity. I love the details and the scraps, the chips, the shavings, the globs of paint the little things that got left behind in the process of making the final masterpiece.

Workshops and sketches…I think I love these better than the finished product. I am more drawn to the steps of their journey, than their final destination (I wonder what neurosis this reveals in me). I feel like I could explore forever and find endless little microcosms from their lives to capture with my camera.

I am always enchanted.

This week I got to visit the shop of blacksmith/knifemaker Rick Schmidt in Whitefish. He makes custom blades and as I watched the hard labor that goes into pounding down the metal into its final shape I was surprised the knives cost hundreds when they should cost thousands of dollars to make. His work is elegant and smooth, but always functional. Schmidt is focused now on making custom pieces for collectors, but they never lose their origins, the knives are first and foremost a tool designed to be useful.

I did these photos for the Daily Inter Lake and I really liked the layout Seaborn Larson created. But there were some details we didn’t have room for, and I wanted to share them here.