Forged pleasure in the vineyard

Ellen Durkan modeling her forged costume

Ellen Durkan models her work.

Guests at the Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery Friday night were treated to steel forged into myriad shapes – and even costumes.

"Steeling the Show" was a garden party to benefit the Oxford Art Alliance (OxAA), a nonprofit community organization for advocacy of the arts and culture. Sixteen artists exhibited their sculptures, and the featured artist Ellen Durkan wore her steel.

Durkan’s work “combines the art of metalsmithing and blacksmithing with high-end fashion design, creating one-of-a-kind forged fashion pieces” stated the event program. To view her work, visit

Winery co-owner Lele Galer had just installed her "Steel Heart" at the entrance of the winery the day before the event. Galer recently began serving on the Oxford Art Alliance Board of Directors.  "I got involved with the Oxford Arts Alliance after attending one of their terrific gallery shows - it was packed and the art was fantastic, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that. They have a shoestring budget, but do so much with what they have."

Steel Heart by Lele Galer

'Steel Heart' by Lele Galer is a new installation at Galer Estate Vineyard & Winery.

Despite predictions of rain, the evening was quite beautiful with the sun setting over the vineyards. "With moving everything outside, then inside for the rain....I wasn't sure how it would turn out," Galer said.

Galer Estate Vineyard

Guests enjoy the view of the vineyards.

Rob Sigafoos and wife Susan

Rob Sigafoos and wife Susan pose at the winery.

The work of Rob Sigafoos was not limited to steel. His “Planting Time” is forged steel in the shape of vines growing up and around a rock. His website shows a bed frame of wood and steel. He said that he is inspired by things growing and the rural quiet of his studio out in Unionville where he lives with his wife, Susan.

Pennsbury township resident and quilter Terry Kramzar said "My favorites were by Sigafoos, probably because I relate to the botanical subject. The fashion show! Can't say I'll be hanging any of those 'outfits' in my closet any time soon. But how interesting to see how an artist interprets her medium. Kind of Steampunk minus the fabric!"

Handcrafted hearts were donated by Ellen Durkan, Seattle Glass and by Lele Galer. The hearts were hung on necklaces and sold to benefit educational programming at the Oxford Art Alliance. Many people in attendance sported heart pendants as they explored the items for auction and listened to music by OxAA music instructors.

The highlight of the evening was the fashion show of steel costumes made by Ellen Durkan. Models ascended the steps at the entrance of the winery as the amazed onlookers snapped photos.

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About Emily Myers

Emily Myers has lived and worked in Chadds Ford for over thirty years.  She founded the parent company of Chadds Ford Live, Decision Design Research, Inc., in 1982. represents the confluence of Myers' long time, deep involvement in technology and community. Myers was a founding member of the Chadds Ford Business Association and currently serves on its board of directors.  Her hobbies include bridge, golf, photography and Tai Chi. She lives with her husband, Jim Lebedda, in Chadds Ford Township.



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