Accents on Atlanta

Southern Accents MagazineSouthern Accents Magazine

Southern Accents Magazine

Blacksmith Michael Dillon forges classical English and French gates and stair rails. Often his pieces are part of a larger design, with driveway gates, walkway gates, and fence panels all part of the job. He works closely with architects to develop the designs and then labors over hot iron to bend and mold it to exact specifications.

Having only been on the scene for six years, Dillon Came to Georgia by way of Kansas City. He finds inspiration in old European iron - a result, perhaps, of his studies in Italy during graduate school at the University of Georgia. He also likes to use traditional blacksmithing methods such as mortise and lemon joinery. True to form, he makes many of the tools that he uses, including the jigs, or curved patterns, that help him mold the hot iron. Having experimented with contemporary gates and sculptural chandeliers and furniture, Dillon finds that he enjoys those styles too, but in Buckhead it's the classical French rails that are especially in demand.

A lot of his work takes place before he starts the final piece. "The work really changes when you go from two-dimensional to three-dimensional, and sometimes that's difficult to convey to a client," Dillon says. "A lot of time I'll make a sample to explain it, and it help me also, to decide what methods of building I'll use."

For Dillon, both art and skill are revealed in the details, not unlike the style of a house itself.

Title: Accents on Atlanta
Publication: Southern Accents Magazine