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Trinidad’s day of the iguana

by Joy Gipson

TRINDAD — The City of Trinidad commissioned local artist and blacksmith Gary Hessling to create two lizards to adorn the southwest corner of the historic Columbian Hotel building, 107 W. Main Street in Trinidad. He is pictured installing the artwork with the help of his wife Joanie. Hessling’s work is created using forged steel and other forgeable metals such as copper and silicon bronze. His process entails heating the metal to a working temperature, then manipulating it into the desired shape. The metal is never in a molten state where it could be poured into a mold, therefore, all of Hessling’s pieces are unique and one of a kind.

Hessling says, “I generally leave my work in a forge-out finish. After the final heat in the forge, my pieces are simply wire brushed and assembled, leaving all the natural character of the work intact. My outdoor pieces have no protective finish applied to them so they may develop their own natural patina over time.” To see more of Hessling’s work, visit the Market Place Gallery, 149 W. Main Street in Trinidad, call 719-859-1168 or 719-859-0035, or go to Photo by Joy Gipson