Hire Him: Andy Upright
When Andy Upright forges metal that’s been heated to a few thousand degrees, he’s never exactly sure what will take shape. “There’s a discovery in the heating process as shapes move and different things are revealed,” says Upright, who makes everything from gates and iron railings to window grills and kitchen hardware — pot racks, pulls, knobs — in his West Philly workshop. Both artist and artisan, he takes inspiration from nature when creating his beautiful and utilitarian metalwork. A rose might become an ornament on a gate or a doorknob. And in a world where “custom” is an oft-touted but rarely strictly accurate concept, each piece is truly one of a kind. E-mail Andy or visit his site.