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Tuesday, July 23, 2013
How A Shipyard Worker Hammered Artillery Shells Into Art
Dirk van Erp was born in 1860 in the Netherlands. His father and other
family members were coppersmiths. He immigrated to the United States in
1886, and came to San Francisco in 1890. Considered today the leading
Arts and Crafts coppersmith of the early 20th century, Dirk van Erp
produced everything from coal buckets and fireplace sets to
candlesticks, vases, and lamps, all hand-hammered in studios on both
sides of San Francisco Bay.
During his 25-year career, Dirk van Erp
taught several generations of coppersmiths the tricks of the trade,
helping to make the San Francisco Bay Area a center for copper objects