Gianofer Fields is a freelance producer and reporter for NPR, BBC and Madison’s WORT Community Radio.
The first time she interviewed Black Smith/ Iron Artist/ Metal Worker Aaron Howard. she asked…If you had to choose just one tool to do your thing…what would it be? Howard chose his hammer.
She describes Howard as a big dude. Friends call him Thor and The Viking. While he chose his hammer as his one tool, without the muscle behind it, it’s useless.
On December fourth Howard found himself in the hospital diagnosed with congestive heart failure. His recovery demands that he not lift anything over thirty pounds. His hammer weighs roughly four pounds. However, his anvil weighs 175 pounds and the materials he uses…1000s.
He’s now in recovery contemplating his health and future as an artist. Gianofer ( JON– nah – fur) pays a visit to Howard and his life and shop partner – Erika Koivunen ( KOY vah Nin) – in their home for a conversation about what happens when an artist’s greatest tool is compromised?