Tinder Heart metals and Design began in 2011 by sole proprietor, Alair Wells. Strong values and a solid work ethic are evident in all work that is produced, with an emphasis on high quality and craftsmanship, fine attention to detail, and unmatched customer service. The company’s mantra is “forging mindful, eloquent keepsakes…” Every piece/product is hand made and can be personalized to honor any loved one or special occasion. Architectural iron work is always custom designed to match your space and will add an innovative and creative touch to any home or business environment.
All of the products at Tinder Heart metals and design are custom and hand made, giving each piece a unique look and feel. The processes of forging, forming, and casting metal dates back to the Bronze and Iron Ages, then almost became extinct with the onset of the Industrial revolution in America. Today, there are many different forging processes from cold-forming under a hydraulic press to automated hot forging using sophisticated machinery. Traditionally, the village blacksmith made everything from weaponry and armor, tools and farming equipment, hardware, clocks, cookware, and even torture devices. At Tinder Heart metals and design, we use a combination of traditional and contemporary metal working methods and techniques to create the highest quality products, made with creativity, integrity, honor and respect for this age old craft.
About the owner/artist - Alair Wells
With a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. in Sculpture, Alair Wells has organized and participated in a multitude of iron casting workshops and blacksmithing events nationwide; as an artist, her mixed-media installations have been exhibited in cities such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle. Alair has worked as a professional metal fabricator and blacksmith for the past 20+ years on and off. She relocated from New York to Seattle in 2006 where she worked full time as a metal fabricator and blacksmith for a small local company. In 2011, Alair moved on to open her own business, Tinder Heart metals and design, and pursue her lifelong passion - teaching. Alair taught Sculpture and Installation classes at Binghamton University in New York before relocating to Seattle; locally, she taught Sculpture, Bronze and Iron casting classes at Tacoma Community College, and currently teaches Blacksmithing at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Welding and Forging to kids ages 10-15 at Coyote Central, and is the EWS metalworking faculty at The Evergreen State College in Olympia.
Meet Makena Henriksen - my lovely apprentice (pictured here on the left). Makena caught the metalworking bug when she first picked up a hammer a few years ago. After learning some basics near her home in the San Juan Islands and at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, she moved to Seattle to pursue her education in an apprenticeship at Tinder Heart metals & design. She is focusing on refining her skills in forging fundamentals, and learning the ins and outs of running a small business. You can follow her work on Instagram at @nettlefireforge.