Hardy & Fuller is a unique project that combines several goals to enrich and improve the artistic community in Denver, Colorado. First, to offer a safe space for those underrepresented in specialized metal trades, such as women and the LGBTQ+, disabled, and BIPOC communities. Second, to provide the community with access to a fully equipped shop that facilitates the development and creation of metal artworks. Last, but definitely not least, to build a nonprofit that will fund an artist in residency program, scholarship opportunities for disadvantage youth, as well as any other way we can bring the confidence and strength of metal working to those that need it the most.
Ashe Thorne is a BIPOC, queer artist local to Colorado. Their obsession with metal began when they were young, working on old hot rods with their grandfather and father. This interest was rekindled at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where they received their BFA and first experienced the art of blacksmith techniques. They have worked in many types of metal fabrication shops that lend to their vast knowledge of tooling and building techniques. Since then they have worked in the arts community for almost a decade, teaching youth and teens at The Art Students League of Denver, as well as traditional coal blacksmith classes hosted at The Wyman Living History Ranch and Museum, through Colorado Northwestern Community College. It was here they learned their love of teaching this art form to others, and has pursued that ever since.
"We founded this makerspace with a simple idea: that everyone should have access to, and be welcome in, a high level, dedicated space for metal arts. During my time in commercial fabrication shops, I learned quickly that BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled and women presenting persons were few and far between, and the environments of many of these professional spaces were inhospitable and even actively unwelcoming to these groups. Seeing such a huge wealth of knowledge and talent go under-served and un-utilized illustrated a void in the trade that I hope Hardy & Fuller helps fulfill."
"Makerspaces are becoming one of the more important ways that people, especially in urban populations, are accessing tools and resources that are outside of what it's easy to afford, or even be able to store, for the average person. The creative forms and techniques that we employ rely on large, sometimes hazardous, and often highly specialized equipment and by making that equipment available we can help make this contribution towards a thriving arts community here in Denver."
-- Ashe Thorne, founder