John Rais
Metalsmith Studios

28 Kuhn Road, Layton, New Jersey 87851
973 948 2559


1998 Master of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills,
1995 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from The Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts


Owner and operator of John Rals Studios, Layton, New Jersey

1998 Resident/ Department Head of Blacksmithing at Peters Valley Craft Education Center, Layton, New Jersey

Recent Exhibitlons:

2000 "Peters Valley Retrospecbve" Newark Museum, Newark, NJ. 10/2000
2000 Fourth annual "Outdoor Sculpture Show" Clark Gallery, Lincoln, Ma. 9/2000
2000 "Group Show" four artists from Peters Valley, Peters Valley gallery, Layton, NJ.
1998 "Pieces That Serve" J. Cotter Gallery, Vail, Colorado
1999 "Twentieth Century Contemporary Art Exposition" Park Street Armory, New York, N.Y
Represented by Yaw Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan;
1996 The World Gallery, Featured artist (virtual gallery:
1999 "Rodeph Shalom Craft Collection" Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1999 "Gallery Without Walls" group exhibition of prominent New Jersey craft artists,
Morristown, New Jersey
1999 "The Fork, The Spoon, The Knife" show of hand made serving utensils, Yaw Gallery,
Birmingham, Michigan; also to be shown at S.O.F.A. NYC
1999 "Critical Mass" invitational show of contemporary iron art, Sussex County College,
Newton, New Jersey
1999 "MetalWORK" Invitational, Network Gallery, Pontiac, Michigan
1998 "Members Show" in conjunction with the Artist/Blacksmith Association of North America
Conference, Asheville, North Carolina
1998 "Summer Show Invitational" Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1998 "In Hand, In Home" architectural Hardware show, Seattle, Washington
1998 "Refined" Metalsmithing competition at SFA Gallery, SFA University, Nacogdoches, Texas
1997 "Contemporary Metalsmiths 1997" at Young and Constantin Gallery, Wilmington,
1997 "Spring Affair" benefit auction at Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1997 "Phenomenology" show of metal work at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills,
1996 "Members Show" ABANA conference show at Alfred State University, Alfred, New York
1995 "Trains, Vanes, and Anvils" Members show of the New England Blacksmiths Association,
Attleboro Art Complex, Attleboro, Massachusetts
1994 Opis Gallery exhibition, Boston, Massachusetts


1999 American Craft Magazine December/January issue, "Portfolios" section
1999 Crafts Report January issue, article on the "Gallery Without Walls" exhibition
1997 Anvils Ring Magazine winter issue in the "Showcase" section
1995 Anvils Ring Magazine fall issue in the "Showcase" section

Recent Commissions/Collections:

2000 Sculpture/Mail Container for Bob Cooperstien, Boston, Ma.

2000 Fire screen/ sculpture for Michael Srulovitz, Chicago, II.

1999 Metal lighting, door hardware, and fire screens for John and Amy Kavadas, Bloomfield
Hills, Michigan

1999 Wall Vessel in the collection of Robert Pfannebecker, Lancaster, Pa.

1999 Wall Vessel for the collection of Mr. William Brown, Penland, NC.

1999 Fire screen for Bennett Bean and Cathy Bao Bean, Blairstown, NJ.

1999 Fire irons and decorative stand for the collection of Janis B. Wetsman, Birmingham,

1999 "Water/Fire Screen" for the collection of R.G. Huber, Layton, New Jersey

1996 Two door latches and pot rack for Bennett Bean and Cathy Bao Bean, Blairstown, NJ.

1998 Three fire screens for the collection of Edith and Barry Briskin, Bloomfield, Michigan

1998 Forged sterling torque for the collection of Lizzy Yu, Soul, Korea

1997 Forged steel Chandelier, Residence of Brookline, Massachusetts
1996 Forged steel decorative room divider, Residence of Charlestown, Massachusetts


1997 Awarded the gallery space for two months at Sussex County College, Newton, New Jersey

1997 Albert and Peggy Desalle merit award

1996 Albert and Peggy Desalle merit award

1994 Pace Gallery award for sculpture


2000 Artist/Blacksmiths Association of North America Conference, Flagstaff, Arizona

2000 Demonstrator/Lecturer at the Center for Creative Studies, Detroit, Mi.

1999 Visiting lecturer/ demonstrator at Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania

1999 Weekend visiting artist at Virginia Commonwealth University (Contemporary Craft
Society), Richmond, Virginia

1999 Kutztown University, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

1999 University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1999 Master of Ceremonies, Lecturer, Organizer of "Critical Mass; Artistic Progression in Iron" symposium through Peters Valley at Newton, New Jersey

1998 New Jersey Blacksmiths fall meet

1998 Center for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan

1996 "Conversations 1996" discussion panel member at S.U.N.Y. New Paltz, New York

John Rais

I make work that celebrates itself. From the contained energy where a line bursts into a plane, I render stylized symbols. I often select fragmented imagery from tools and utensils to
reconstruct meaning based on the way in which material is manipulated. By this I attempt to
bring forth a curious tactile quality vaguely reminiscent of hand held function. As a metal artist I cannot resist taking advantage of the overwhelming abundance of metal imagery found in scrap heaps like factory fossils. In a sense, I am making objects that I wish I could find.

This latest work Is informed by my experiences forging door hardware. I believe that things such as handles, which rely so heavily on utility and performance can be objects of beauty used to activate a space. These mongrels of art offer a comparison between an implied function, (to dig, pour, sift), and the actual intent, (to serve, to open, to hold).