Bull City Blacksmith Makes Meaningful Metalworks

Bull City Blacksmith Makes Meaningful Metalworks

You can find Hunter Meadows' creations in Durham and beyond

Photo by Briana Brough

Hunter Meadows moved to Chapel Hill in 1987 to attend UNC and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in sculpture. He started sculpting and working with metal in 1990, and began blacksmithing in ‘93 and working with precious metals as a goldsmith in ‘96, the same year he attended the Penland School of Crafts. He moved to Durham in 1998, where he built his studios. Some of Hunter’s notable works include the signage and several bar and table designs at Mateo, West End Wine Bar and Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom, among others. He lives in south Durham with wife, Ashley, their 1-year-old twins Harrison and Everly, and a 7-year-old Weimaraner named Skylar.

I’m inspired by nature and the balance of it, [and try] to create balance in my work and life.

All my projects are big to me – they all take importance and time, whether it’s a piece of jewelry or a larger project.

The beauty of my work is that every day is different. I may find myself drawing or designing in CAD or out in my studio with the forge [a hearth used for heating metals] and music cranked up, or sitting in my jewelry studio doing more delicate work. Every project is unique.

I feel most comfortable and at one with the city at my home, a 1900s farm house near Jordan Lake and the American Tobacco Trail. I enjoy being outdoors, paddle boarding at the lake, or on the trail with my wife, babies and dog. Of course we like mixing it up and walking around downtown Durham or Chapel Hill and Carrboro as well!

I’m not wealthy, however, I feel creating beautiful, meaningful pieces and making a living doing so has even more value. Doing things the hard way, by hand, and it being appreciated as well as having the freedom to be with my family and being there for my twin babies as they grow, is important to me.

I try the best to have fun, to live in the moment and enjoy my family, life and nature. It is also important to me to make a living without hurting anyone or our planet. Working to live, not living to work.