Visual artist and blacksmith, Conrad Hicks, specializes in hand-forged metal work. He uses this technique in his sculptures, as well as in his architectural and interior design projects. His forge is at The Bijou, an old Art Deco cinema in Observatory, Cape Town, which he began restoring in 1998.
Hicks decided to develop kitchen implements, so as to bring functional art into people’s homes. The Tool Room is his online shop that sells hand-forged frying pans and roasting trays. They are made in 4mm steel and last a lifetime. A slight variation in texture and decorative finish occurs from product to product, and design changes take place as his work develops over time.
Hicks studied Art and Design at The Cape Technicon, and graduated with distinction in 1986. He holds exhibitions of his forged kitchenware, as well as demonstrations and talks. Underpinning his approach to forging is that, ‘if you use beautiful tools, you make beautiful things’.