Made in Alaska: Alaska Forge
Metalsmith Mark Couch makes coat hooks and cabinet pulls with a twist
PALMER-- Mark Couch doesn’t just make wall decorations; the goal of his work is to combine art and function.
“If I were going to buy it, it would have to have a purpose. So that's the way I make it,” explained Couch.
He’s been working with metal for more than 30 years and now runs his own business, Alaska Forge. His medium of choice is steel.
“It can be small but fairly strong, whereas if I were making the same items out of wood they'd have to be more massive.”
He spends the winter in his small shop outside Palmer stocking up on products. The bulk of his business is coat hooks and cabinet pulls with a twist.
We make a lot of stuff with moose heads on it, lot of stuff with leaves. It’s partly because they sell well, but I like making them.”
Couch says while he’s fortunate to be able to work from home, he’s glad his home is in Alaska.
“It's good for forging because it's not hot. If you were in Arizona there would be some times where it would be pretty tough.”
Right now his toughest job is waiting for the summer tourist season so he can sell everything he has in stock.
Alaska Forge creations are sold at G Street Fox in Anchorage, High Tide Arts in Homer and the Great Alaskan Bowl Factory in Fairbanks. Orders can also be placed online at www.alaskaforge.com.