Rachel David, 21st century New Orleans blacksmith
In addition, David is a modernist sculptor, who uses immemorially muscular metal-working techniques to produce surprisingly subtle works of art. You might have passed her delicately designed 12-foot-tall abstract sculpture "Weft" at the corner of Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue in the CBD.
Read: "Artistic blacksmith Rachel David brings steel sculpture to Poydras Street"
"When you heat the iron," she said, it's incredibly plastic. You can get so much deformation and so many options to achieve different shapes."
David, 33, grew up in Maryland. As a university art student, she taught herself metal forging, mostly by reading instructional books. Eleven years ago she moved to New Orleans to take a job custom fabricating the specialized steel equipment for a Mid-City glass blowing studio. Since then, her iron furniture and sculpture has appeared regularly at art galleries and in the contemporary crafts area of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.