KONG YE GA
KONGYEGA ARTIST STATEMENT
Kongyega Art Studio is the collaborative family metal smithing business of Teeg, Meri and their son, Iain MacKai. Kongyega, or Kong Ye Ga, (Pronounced Kōng Yay GAH) is the Korean term for Craftsman, chosen as an homage to Iain's cultural heritage.
In 2007, Teeg and Iain decided to take their joy of playing with fire to the next level. Meri thought it would be a great idea if they were going to burn the place down anyway, they should do so "artfully". So, off they went to The Arts Cabin in Government Camp, Oregon to learn more about Blacksmithing.
Darryl Nelson, founding member of the Northwest Blacksmith Association, taught Teeg and Iain the fundamentals and helped them make some sweet dragon bottle openers, hooks and nails.
The men then built a "forgery" by the creek running through the MacKai homestead. This natural setting inspires their work. The pieces are made from cold-rolled steel heated in an antique hand-cranked forge. They are shaped and textured over anvils, forms and tree stumps using hammers and chisels. With Teeg and Iain responsible for the shaping, grinding, polishing, texturing & welding of each piece, Meri is the color master.She uses metal "stains" and multiple acrylic clear coats to achieve a deep enameled finish. Some pieces are left in the elements for a more rustic look.