- Level of Instruction
- Everyone welcome.
Share your lunch break with Master Blacksmith Tom Latané as he looks at a specific door lock in the Vesterheim collection that is more complex than the others. The components of the lock are mounted on a flat, decoratively cut plate of iron and would be visible when mounted on the door. The lock’s two spring-loaded bolts each have a tumbler so that a key must pass the wards and strike four different parts to withdraw the bolts. On the inside, a person would move the tumblers with one hand and draw the bolts with the other. Tom's discussion will cover the function of the lock parts while sharing his knowledge about the forging process.
Collection Connections is a series of Vesterheim-hosted conversations between the museum’s collections staff and folk-art school instructors. Highlighting the incredible folk-art collection at Vesterheim, these conversations are also opportunities for you to stay connected with your folk-art community during this unpredictable time. Each gathering will highlight pieces from the collection as explained, interpreted, and appreciated by a master folk artist.
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About the Instructor
Tom Latané started forging reproduction colonial and early American ironwork in Maryland in the early 1970s. After moving to the Midwest in 1981, he was introduced to the creative whimsy of Norwegian folk iron. Tom and his wife, Catherine, have a shop in Pepin, Wisconsin, where Tom repairs antiques and creates original pieces using a traditional design vocabulary and historic hand techniques. Tom has demonstrated for blacksmith groups and has taught at folk schools around the country. Some of Tom’s ironwork can be seen in Vesterheim’s Westby-Torgerson Education Center.
Learn more: Check out two beautiful and informative photo essays by Tom: Ring Handle and Making Repairs to Trunk Hardware. Each photo includes full instructions to complete the project.
Or watch this video, Collections Connection: Blacksmithing Trunk Locks, where Tom and Vesterheim Collections Manager Jennifer Kovarik highlight the museum's collection of forged chest locks and the different mechanisms locksmiths employed to secure belongings.