|Pony Tracks Metal Art
|"Mark Fisher’s designs
focus on life in the west.
His work is so popular he
has trouble keeping up
|Tableaus of fighting elk, curving aspen leaves and fisherman casting lines into streams play out in Mark Fisher's
decorative metalwork, which is so popular as an accent in mountain homes he has a hard time keeping samples in stock.
Fisher is the creator of Pony Tracks Handcrafted Metal Work in Buena Vista, where he pounds, twists and grinds steel into
works of art. His unique designs focus on life in the west, with silhouetted figures of wildlife and ranching drawn onto
sheets of metal, cut out, polished and fired to catch the light with different colors.
|This article originally appeared
in the Fall issue of Aspen Valley
|"I think when you're spending a lot of money on
a house, you want something that the neighbors don't have," he says. "I like the creativity and hands-on work."
All of Fisher's creations are hand wrought using hammers, anvils, grinders and welders. Taking a project from design to
build is like making sculpture to him, without the use of modern day technology like lasers or computers.
His technique has paid off — Fisher's fireplace doors, that range from simpler forged designs to three-dimensional
artwork, are one of his trademark items. Metal is shaped around each stone in a fireplace hearth, and the doors fold back
to lie flush against the wall.
Fisher also crafts sofa tables and coffee tables with any number of wildlife scenes, bucking broncos or mountain
landscapes, and recently began making light fixtures with metal images that pop out against paper-thin layers of mica. To
pull the decorative look of a home together, he has added metal finishes to baseboard heating, bed frames, and adorned
homes with coat racks and weather vanes.
The metal work can look rustic, with antique finishes, or more modern with clean lines and shining surfaces. His touches
are being added as decorative gates for the Prospector Condominiums in Aspen, and fireplace doors for condos in Park
City, Utah. It's rare for any two of his items to look the same.
"A lot of people work on steel with lasers and computers, but I draw all of my stuff out by hand," he said.
Fisher was raised in Colorado Springs, and his dad first discovered metalwork during the Korean War, while serving in
the National Guard. His father pushed him to take welding courses, but he never
| used the skill until the early 90s, when he moved to Wyoming to work as a ranch hand. While welding gates out
of scrap oil pipes he spent winters discovering his own art form in a workshop.
Although he sold his earliest works wholesale and mass-produced items for the Cody Rodeo and the Roy Rogers
Museum, it wasn't long before he scaled back his operation to enjoy the creativity of working one-on-one with a client.
"These guys want to sit down with the guy who's going to do the work, and bounce ideas back and forth until we come up
with a mutual idea," he says. "It's part of the process, and that's a niche for me, if you want to call it that. It's being small
enough to do just what they want."