Famous Metalworkers: Nahum Hersom
Nahum Hersom (1918-2011) was a metalworking artist renowned for his skill with Repousse’ style of metalworking. He lived in Boise, Idaho and was known to his many students as “Grandpa.” At the time of his death he was nearly 95 years old. In his near century-long life he made hundreds of amazing works, taught a myriad of students, and contributed heavily to making sure the Repousse’ style of metalworking didn’t die out.
Repousse’ is a form of metalwork in which the metalworker starts with a perfectly flat sheet of metal and then uses various hammers, stakes, and other tools to form the sheet into a fully finished piece. Many of the tools for this style are entirely handmade, usually by the Repousse’ artist themselves, resulting in processes and methods that are completely unique to each artist. Nahum was known to make specific tools for only one small detail in a huge piece and made hundreds of tools in his lifetime.
Nahum had a long and varied career in the metalworking industry. From 1941-1946 he worked for the US Military in varying capacities including as a welder and metalsmith. He was also a blacksmith for a time, as well as working on buildings and working to as a repairman for machining tools. The book “Nahum Hersom: Repousse’” is based entirely on his work and was written by Jerry Henderson.
In his life, he received the “Idaho Governor’s Award in the Arts,” but his contributions go far beyond what he was given awards for. His contributions to metalworking in general and Repousse’ in particular cannot be understated. Through his work and his teachings, artists around the world, including us here at Northwinds Forge, will be able to continue on creating beautiful and unique metalworks. Come visit us today and see what we can do for you!