Artist House Tour: John Haley forges badass metal work in his Lakewood studio

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Editor's note: Indie Design Blogger Jeanne Connolly loves to see how creative people put their houses together. In this series, she'll be sharing some of her favorite homes, taking us inside the unique private spaces of metro Denver and beyond.

John Haley III is one interesting cat. His art-nouveau-inspired metalwork can be found in artsy homes all around the world. It can also be purchased at johnhaleyiii.blogspot.com or at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival this weekend. You can see what we're talking about on the next few pages as we show his work displayed artfully throughout his midcentury-modern home in Lakewood. Read more to find out what inspires this fascinating metalworker.

See also: Artist House Tour: Featuring Mark and Kristen Sink

Westword: What's in your artist toolbox?

Haley: Pencils, paper, hammers, a power hammer, an anvil, a forge... Tons of other assorted devices. I also use a photocopy machine for a lot of my drawings and designs.

What's your neighborhood?

Morse Park neighborhood, near Colfax and Wadsworth in Lakewood.

What's your favorite thing about your neighborhood?

It's very quiet, especially considering how close it is to two major streets, which are highways.

Best local resource?

Thompson's Hobbies and Crafts. They have great art supplies, and I love the fact their signs are handmade and that they don't take credit cards.

Do you rent or own your home?


What's the square footage?

It is 1,400; the studio is around 400.

Continue reading for more of Haley's house. Do you create art at home?

Yes, I moved my studio into the garage in 2000. It can get pretty cramped when I've got a large project, but it's really ideal for generating my sculptures and furniture pieces.

Define your home's style?

Midcentury modern crossed with art nouveau.

What are you favorite artistic touches?

The openings in the opposing walls in the kitchen, which allow one to see entirely through the house, front to back.

Continue reading for more of Haley's house. What inspires you about your home?

Simple architecture and solid construction.

What is your favorite piece of art?

Probably Chet Zar's "Gnashing of Teeth," or any of my paintings by Jesse Peper.

Have you had any design challenges?

Getting my organic pieces to fit with a very inorganic house is a challenge, but I think things coalesce pretty well. I like the juxtaposition.

What are your guests' reactions?

Some seem a little nervous, but people really like it for the most part. Most guests are my friends or clients, so they know what my work and tastes are like.

Continue reading for more of Haley's house.

Have you repurposed any materials in your home?

Just scrap steel. Ninety percent of the steel I use is scrap. The price of steel has more than doubled since I started, but it's still super-cheap for art material.

What's your favorite DIY project?

Probably the kitchen. My Dad and I redid it a few years ago, and it turned out really nice.

Did you indulge in any of your rooms?

That seems like a trick question. Most rooms incorporate a lot of my work, so that's pretty indulgent.

Best design advice?

Less is more, and study the Golden Ratio.

What's your favorite time of day to create?

Late morning to mid-afternoon for ironwork, evenings for drawing. Those hours are definitely reduced in the winter, though forging in the summer is brutal!

Do you have any creative organization tips?

No, but I could certainly use some.

Any challenges designing your studio? ?

I put in some effort in to lessen the sound of the power hammer escaping from the shop with moderate success. I'm just lucky to have neighbors who aren't bothered by the noise. I rarely run the power hammer outside of business hours.

What is your favorite studio feature?

The proximity to the house. Having 24-hour access to a blacksmith shop a few meters from the house is excellent. The power hammer is definitely a favorite feature inside the studio. It's nearly 100 years old and still works beautifully

When Jeanne isn't doing House Tours, she is blogging on how to create bohemian style with both vintage and recycled materials.

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