Working together, husband and wife artist-blacksmiths, Matt & Tessie Wallace, create unique, hand-forged works of art for clients by using old world techniques rarely found today.
Matt Wallace always wanted to be a blacksmith. When he was a kid, he made a suit of armor with tin snips and a hammer using (and ruining) the family garbage can outside.
Matt is a native of West Virginia and a graduate of WV Wesleyan College, where he received his BA Degrees in both History and in Studio Arts. During his studies, Matt interned with Jeff Fetty, a family friend who introduced Matt to the forge at age 12. After graduation, Matt moved to Connecticut where he worked as an apprentice to colonial-blacksmith, Robert Valentine, and master fabricator, John Winslow. Matt returned to WV and established Wallace Metal Works in 2000.
Notable honors include: the Kanawha County Public Library gates, the railing sculpture Treescape at the Bridge Road Shops, various works featured in the WV Cultural Center, the WV Office of Historic Preservation and the office of the WV Commissioner of Art and Culture, and projects for Gary Keller, Lauren Santo Domingo, and Jennifer Garner. Matt has also traveled to Italy to learn repoussé from Pierluigi Prata, a 3rd generation Maestro d'Arte.
When Matt isn't hammering in his studio, you can find him hiking, restoring an antique Italian car, and playing with his 2 children.
Tessie Wallace always wanted to be a jewelry designer. As a kid, she whittled her mom jewelry and got lost at the Smithsonian staring at the Hope Diamond too long. Working as the shop welder is just like being a jeweler but with bigger tools.
Tessie is a native of West Virginia and a graduate of American University, where she received her BA Degree in Italian. She then went on to pursue a career as a bench jeweler at the New Approach School in Virginia. In 2005, Tessie joined Matt at Wallace Metal Works as the shop welder, fabricator, and office manager.
Notable honors include: acceptance into Tamarack as a metal artist and receiving a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. Tessie has also been rewarded grants from the Tamarack Foundation, the WV Division of Culture & History, the Robert C Byrd Institute, and the grand prize Achievement Grant from the National Association for the Self-Employed.
In her free time, you'll find Tessie with a camera in her hand, as she is also a professional photographer. She loves making her kids laugh, baking cookies and eating the dough, traveling to Italy, and family movie nights outside on the porch.
"Agsten Construction Company has worked with Wallace Metal Works on both a high-end residence and on a multi-million dollar mountaintop Lodge, both at the Greenbrier Sporting Club in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Matt's metal artwork is wonderful. Both the company and the individuals have been a pleasure to work with. Matt is concerned with completing a job on time and on budget. He has the ability to help value engineer a project, and to make the end result better through the process. His designs and the pieces that result are nothing short of spectacular. We look forward to working with Wallace Metal Works again in the near future. We are happy to wholeheartedly recommend Wallace Metal Works."
- Carl Agsten, President,
Agsten Construction Company
"Matt is an extraordinary craftsman. I only need to give him a concept and he takes it from there! He provides several options and sometimes it's difficult to choose just one. Interior designers are fortunate to have the expertise of this talented blacksmith and artist."
-Pat Bibbee, Interior Designer
Pat Bibbee Designs
"Matt and Tessie worked with me, several local agencies and a landscape designer
to create a treescape in memory of my wife, Teresa. I was impressed with their openness to the variety of concepts and ideas generated by our group and their ability to create a metal sculpture that met all of our expectations. The end result is a beautiful and unique metal sculpture combined with a creative landscape plan that exudes Teresa's spirit and the things that she was most fond of."
© 2022 by Wallace Metal Works, LLC