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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Phil Johnson (1942–2023)

Artist-blacksmith, and founder in 1974 of P. Johnson & Company, a family partnership based at the Ratho Byres Forge, Edinburgh. Employing a large team of blacksmiths, engineers and artists – including Shona Johnson, Mike Johnson, Pete Hill and Jois Hunter – the company combines traditional forging techniques with a contemporary design aesthetic, and has produced ornamental ironwork for public buildings and spaces throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. In addition to numerous functional designs for gates, railings, seating units, lamp standards and stairway balustrades, the company has also carried out many sculptural commissions, including the kinetic Aeolian Motion at Stockton-on-Tees, the Wind Vane Family in the Boulevard Roundabout, Livingston, West Lothian, and the Millennium Beacon on the Half Moon Battery, Edinburgh Castle, sponsored by Scottish Gas for the Hogmanay celebrations in 2000. In 2008 Johnson was awarded a silver medal and fellowship from the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, which conferred on him the status of an Eminent Master Blacksmith.

Bibliography: Anon., Ratho Byres Forge: artist blacksmiths (Ratho: P. Johnson & Company), 2009; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 434, 439, 441, 447, vol. 2, pp. 404, 406, 465–66, 478, 490–91, 497; Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths Newsletter, issue 33, December 2008, p. 9.

Ray McKenzie October 2023