Hank Rearden
I thought this an interesting topic.

I see many things and want to make them or I deconstruct them in my head. Still I'm and the basic level in many ways. I was recently challenged to make a railroad spike bottle opener. That wasn't interesting to me though. So I upped the ante. How about a corkscrew and bottle opener instead from this piece of rod? I Said. Away I went 45 minutes later with  I forged my project.

Now back to the question. What gives you inspiration? The corkscrew was something I saw on the interweb somewhere. I added my own twist. Here this was a challenge and a visual image of something I had seen before. The project raised a question for me. So I really started a study of what inspired me. Of all the things I could list, The simplest answer is the work created from the master smiths. Regardless of their discipline it was work done by those who are competent at the craft.

code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
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Being more of a blade smith I much prefer to work as an artist than take a pattern and force the material to be that object.  Sometimes the steel decides for me, sometimes it's a burl or stag handle that says what it want's to be.  Most of the time all the materials need to agree, it's my job to get them to speak the same language.  😃

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Mike Westbrook
I personally am only interested in making utilitarian items but in a way that is pleasing to the eye I get insperation just by thinking of a simple solution to a problem and it sno balls from there example a fire tool I know I need something to stir a fire so I start at one end and let the peice become what it wants I have a pile of things I made just trying different ways of making something then in the end hated its looks or functionality but learned from it my insperation comes from the most basic day to day need to poke or hang or cook or open a bottle and I go from there
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Yesteryear Forge
nice job on the bottle opener / corkscrew
Give out before you give up - if it was easy anybody could do it
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The push to do something creative usually starts from seeing something others have done and the thought "I can do that" or "I can do better". Once you get good at that, it becomes "How about I do this or that" ... and then "This will sell well" 
I prefer to call those thought motivation rather than inspiration. I get my motivation from usually practical needs, like a rail for a deck or a balcony and then it evolves from there ... how about I make it adding this or that decorative twist. 
I have been thinking about making a sculpture about water skiing, since I live on a river and next to a public reserve. So I suppose my motivation is to show what I can do. Only in my mind for now. 🙂

By the way ... art and hobby are not mutually exclusive. Art relates to how what one does can produce emotion in others, and hobby has more to do with something we do in our spare time and not for money. You can be a hobby artist or a professional artist, and I can be a lousy hobbyist and also a lousy artist 🙂
Much that passes as idealism, is disguised hatred or disguised love of power. Bertrand Russell
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