About the BlacksmithOur Family
About the Blacksmith
My artistic philosophy
Directions to the forge
How it all began
In 1981, I took a two year course at Salem college in Salem West Virginia. The course was Heritage Arts the study of 18th and early 19th century trades and traditions. The one course that I excelled in immediately was Blacksmithing. I entered this school as a glassblower, and when I saw how hot steel could be heated, manipulated, then hardened as it cooled, I couldn't help notice the similarities of iron and glass, except that when finished ...iron would last forever! I was mesmerized and still am to this day. In six months time I started to teach new beginning students, and by my second year I was teaching all beginner classes.
After leaving college I took a few jobs in the Living History fields where I was able to use my training somewhat as an interpretive tool. In 1985 I decided to try to make a full time living at Blacksmithing. My first shop was an old smoke house on a farm we rented it measured 6ft x 8ft. There was just enough room under the roof for a small rivet forge, anvil, and a leg vice. I actually had to stand outside the door to work! Three months later we moved to a new farm and my shop was above a root cellar and measured 12ft x 12ft. I at least could work inside now! Two months later I moved into a garage that was 20ft x 40 ft we put in two forges and hired our first employee. We began supplying most of the east coast gift and craft shops with ironware. This has been our sole income for many years. I now do more custom one of a kind work and I welcome production wholesale market work. I was trained as a traditional black smith and worked most of my career as such until 2003.
In 2003 I turned 40 years old and I believe something chemically happened to my brain at that time. For some strange reason I found myself thinking and seeing ideas in abstract or very contemporary. I wanted to complete thoughts and ideas I had in iron in an abstract way. Yes I was now starting to sculpt the very pieces that I used to make fun of in earlier years! I then started to experience a new freedom with my work that I never had before. This is now a continued work in process of which the inspiration seems to come much faster than can be made.