Flagler Artists: Individually Designed Hammers Represent Artwork to Their Purchasers

Not all works of art feature pastel flowers as the subject.
Some are forged with fire and take a more rugged approach to creating beauty.
Just take an open-minded look at the work of Clay Williams of Palm Coast. You just might find yourself gaining a new appreciation of art in a metallic Norse titan sort of way.
Williams is the creator of ThorHammers, an adult version of the Mjolnir hammer that Thor — the fictional character created in 1962 by Marvel Comics for its series of books and later appearing in the Avengers movie series —uses to fly and manipulate the weather.
Turns out that grown-up boys (men) really dig having a hammer that is all about them.
Williams has made thousands of the full metal hammers featuring a mix of requested engraving such as words, pictures, or logos to artistically embody what is meaningful to each purchaser.
“It is such an honor to create something unique just for that person,” he said.
The business started out innocently enough as an extension of work he was doing for a tool and dye company.
Williams demonstrated and sold machines and was in the back shop one day when he asked the shop manager if he could “play” around on it. The shop manager gave the go-ahead and told Williams there was some scrap aluminum in the back.
“I grabbed a chunk and made a Thor hammer,” he explained.
He used it to a few friends and then in an online forum from which demand exploded.
It didn’t take long for the legal folks from Marvel to notice Williams’ creations.
Attorneys representing Marvel sent him sternly worded letters demanding that Williams “cease and desist” creating the individualized hammers. Williams said he called the lawyers back and informed them that he was “just one guy” and “was not mass producing” the hammer. They told him that they would send Marvel representatives to “seize” all materials he had that were related to the production by his company ThorHammers.
I told them, “Come and get it,” Williams said. “But you will have to show me what is exactly the same as the movie version.”
No one representing Marvel showed up.
“I figured this conversation is over and have never heard from them again,” Wiliams said.
So, he kept on creating unique hammers as pieces of art.
“What I make is a custom piece of art,” Williams said. “Each one is different from any of the other ones. No one else has one like anyone else’s hammer.”
Differences include engraving fonts, specialized logos representing the purchaser such as military or police affiliation or cancer survivor and individualized color choices for the leather wound around the handle.
Some clients want a bright and shiny appearance. Others want their hammer to look a bit aged, beat up or battle-scarred, Williams said.
“Some people want it to look like it has been to Valhalla and back,” he said with a laugh.
Learn more about ThorHammers online at www.thorhammers.com.
— Amy Armstrong