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William and Lynn Kuegel
William Kuegel is a farrier and metalsmith who brings his artistic sense to both pursuits. He began his work as a metalsmith making horseshoes at Mid-South Academy of Horseshoeing. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire (1974) with a degree in Animal Science, he began a career as a farrier which he pursues to this day. Lynn Kuegel has a background in interior design and business, which is combined with a love of all things equine. Blending her skills and ideas with William’s abilities was a perfect fit.
In 1977 William and Lynn collaborated to use horseshoe nails to create small-scale designs for holiday ornaments, including a tree, angel, and rocking horse. In 1981 these ornaments were featured in Yankee Magazine's “Small Business and Crafts Section.” Their body of work has evolved over the years and now includes jewelry, as well as small and large-scale sculptural work using a variety of metals.
One of their designs - Sterling the Snowman - was selected by the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's (LNHC) to be the Annual Ornament in 2000. Several large sculptures - a garden dragon, dancers, and a girl reading - have graced the Sculpture Garden at the League of NH Craftsmen Fair at Mt. Sunapee, NH. These were later included in the book “Garden Ornaments: Pots, Pergolas, Pedestals and More" by E. Ashley Rooney.
Whether it is a horse racing across the plains or a cat sitting on a snowman’s head, the common thread running through their work is a sweetness of line and careful attention to proportion. Both motion and mood are clearly expressed; William and Lynn’s personalities shine through, infusing the designs with a sense of playfulness and warmth.
Their work is available online through their website - equicraft.com - or their facebook page - www.facebook.com/equicraftnh. Their work is available locally at Exeter Fine Crafts in Exeter, NH, and the LNHC Concord Arts and Craft Gallery in Concord, NH. They live in Lee, New Hampshire with their horse, Holly, and cat, Kashmir.
I think of myself not as a horseshoer who makes art, but as an artist who shoes horses. I bring my observational skills and ability to visualize in three dimensions to both roles.
As a farrier, I use horseshoe nails to perform a practical task - keeping horseshoes on horses’ hooves. As an artist I use the same type of nails to design jewelry, ornaments, and small sculpture. I draw upon my years of experience with horses for inspiration. Whatever the subject, it is important to me to convey a sense of both mood and motion in my designs.
A horseshoe nail is surprisingly complex. Each of its four sides is different. These differences can be used to create subtle variations in visual effect. Sometimes I use the whole nail, incorporating the nail heads into the design, while other times I use only the tapered shank of the nail.
Working with the nails often leads me to ideas I want to create in other metals and formats. As a result, my body of work now includes many non-horseshoe nail designs. No matter how wide the scope of my work becomes, I always enjoy returning to horseshoe nails and my equine roots.
I have always been intrigued by the creative possibilities of functional items. Horseshoe nails have been used in artistic ways for hundreds of years - from the start, William’s and my joint vision was to step beyond those expressions into fresh designs. During our brainstorming sessions my ideas frequently become the catalyst for new work and designs. My hands rarely touch the metal as it is being formed but my input helps shape many aspects of a piece.
I also enjoy crafting the presentation of the finished work. My background in business and interior design, as well as my writing and photography, helps me create context for the designs through the methods and materials used to present them. I consider the presentation and packaging to be an integral part of experiencing the work; in all areas my goal is to enhance the audience’s interaction with and enjoyment of our art.
Note: We've created a Printable Page with all the information found on this page laid out in a printer-friendly format. If you want to share the Equicraft story with the recipient of an Equicraft design, simply print out the page and include it with the gift!
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