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BlacksmitHER Radio

Updated 7 days ago

Arts
Society & Culture
Design
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Victoria Patti interviews blacksmiths around the world. They talk about being an artist blacksmith, their professional blacksmith careers, becoming a blacksmith, and some blacksmith history. Check out the podcast for useful tips to use in the shop, inspiration, humor and encouragement to forge ahead. Show notes and more resources are on the website www.blacksmitHER.com.

Read more

Victoria Patti interviews blacksmiths around the world. They talk about being an artist blacksmith, their professional blacksmith careers, becoming a blacksmith, and some blacksmith history. Check out the podcast for useful tips to use in the shop, inspiration, humor and encouragement to forge ahead. Show notes and more resources are on the website www.blacksmitHER.com.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
20
1
0
3
0

Great show!

By DKForgeworks - Jan 15 2019
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I love listening to Patti interview the guests. Very informative and fun to learn about new people.

This is Fresh!!

By Victoria Ross Patti - Oct 05 2014
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I love the podcast interviews of women blacksmiths, they are funny and entertaining!

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
20
1
0
3
0

Great show!

By DKForgeworks - Jan 15 2019
Read more
I love listening to Patti interview the guests. Very informative and fun to learn about new people.

This is Fresh!!

By Victoria Ross Patti - Oct 05 2014
Read more
I love the podcast interviews of women blacksmiths, they are funny and entertaining!
Cover image of BlacksmitHER Radio

BlacksmitHER Radio

Latest release on Jul 02, 2019

Read more

Victoria Patti interviews blacksmiths around the world. They talk about being an artist blacksmith, their professional blacksmith careers, becoming a blacksmith, and some blacksmith history. Check out the podcast for useful tips to use in the shop, inspiration, humor and encouragement to forge ahead. Show notes and more resources are on the website www.blacksmitHER.com.

Rank #1: Ep 107 Allen Rozon " A Blacksmith and a Swordsmith Collaborate"

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Allen Rozon is a blacksmith who works out of Montreal Canada.  Since initial exposure to blacksmithing through time spent learning the basics from Uri Hofi in New York state, Allen Rozon, was on a quest to spend time with highly respected teachers within the metal arts community.  An early friendship formed that would guide many of Allen’s steps taken over the years.  Taro Asano, aka Fusataro, visited Canada early in his career as a licensed master sword smith from Japan.  On that first visit, the two met at THAK Ironworks during his demonstration.  An immediate kinship developed between Taro and Allen, which deepened over the years and eventually spawned Tamahagane Arts, swordsmithing classes that draw from Fusataro’s formal apprenticeship and his 24 previous generations of swordsmiths.

What We Talked About

  • Allen explains his business, Iron Den and how it is part of a nonprofit organization and physical shop called Les Forges de Montreal. This organization started 16 years ago offering finically accessible blacksmithing classes.  Students can eventually become members of the organization and then have access to the forge at any time.
  • Allen had artistic pursuits prior to blacksmithing, such as sculpting and painting. Then he learned about blacksmithing and took a two-week class with Uri Hofi and ended up staying and learning with him for a month.
  • He saw a demonstration of a swordsmith from Japan, Taro Asana, in Canada and they quickly became friends. This led Allen to visit Japan many times, visiting Taro and learning about the Japanese apprenticeships for swordsmiths.  Taro comes from the Kenifusa swordsmithing family (24 generations of swordsmiths) and his swordsmith name is “Fusataro”.
  • Allen and Fusataro started to talk about teaching swordsmithing classes in Canada, these talks continued for 2 to 3 years before Fusataro agreed to try the concept. The reason Fusataro was reluctant had to do with the Japanese tradition of apprenticeships for swordsmithing, teaching the craft outside of Japan and the apprenticeship structure is not really “allowed” or tolerated.
  • Allen and Fusataro just recently offered a 10-day intensive Tamahagane Tanto class. Students could pick what kind of sword they wanted to make, choosing from 2 kilograms to 8 kilograms of tamahagane steel.
  • We talk about the features of Tamahagane steel and how it is made in Japan.

Guest Links

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Aug 14 2017

47mins

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Rank #2: Episode #67 – Charles Lewton Brain “If you make the same mistake three times, it’s a technique”

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Charles is an internationally known artist and master goldsmith, an author of 7 books and numerous magazine articles, owner of his own publishing company, BrainPress, College teacher and head of the Jewelry Metals Program at Alberta College of Art and Design, a co-founder of the Ganoskin Project which since 1987 has grown to be the largest educational website in the world for jewelers, and the innovative inventor of the fold forming technique.  His education started with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, then a Master of Fine Arts from SUNY of New Paltz, NY then he continued his education in Europe, Germany and Great Britain. 

What We Talked About

  • Charles is currently teaching at an Art College and he tells his students to think of different ways a project can be re-used to aid in being efficient.
  • He still writes for a variety of publications, currently the Sante Fe Symposium Conference has asked him to write a chapter in their annual book they publish.
  • Charles talks about the time he spent in a German art school, which is where he came up with the fold forming technique. Many revered jewelers also attended this same school such as Alan Revere, Charon Kransen, and Harold O’Conner.
  • The first exposure of Charles demonstrating the fold forming technique was in 1985 at the SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference in Toronto, Canada.
  • The first exposure that blacksmiths had to fold forming was when Charles demonstrated at the 1987 ABANA Conference in Alfred, NY. Tom Joyce was assisting Charles with fold forming steel on the power hammer.
  • His roommate at this 1987 conference was Daryl Meier, who was a skilled bladesmith that was well known in the bladesmith world, the jewelry world and the blacksmith world. They both noticed that in the blacksmith world there was no hierarchy of skilled to beginner, everyone would talk to everyone.
  • Charles recommends artists schedule an hour a week of playtime in the shop with no particular goal in mind, from this ideas are born.
  • Pay attention to your mistakes instead of rejecting them, he says “If you make the same mistake three times, it’s a technique”.

Guest Links

His website - http://www.brainpress.com/

The Ganoskin Project website - http://www.ganoksin.com/

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016 Conference

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Apr 11 2016

28mins

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Rank #3: Ep #102 David Robertson “Art History in Iron from 3500 BC”

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Welcome to episode #102 and I have David Robertson with us today, he’s a professional artist blacksmith from Ontario Canada, in fact, he’s been in business for 30 years as of this year… congratulations David!  We talk about how he kept busy when starting out as a full time blacksmith and his latest Art History in Iron course he taught at the Halliburton School of Art and Design.

But first I’d like to thank our sponsor today and that’s the Southern Blacksmith Association, they are hosting their 18th bi-annual Conference.  The Philip Simmons Artist Blacksmith Guild is hosting this four-day conference at the Lion’s Club Fair Grounds in Madison, Georgia, it’s right around the corner on your calendars….Thursday through Sunday, May 18 - 21st, 2017.

Their demonstrator lineup is outstanding! You can see Zeevik Gottlieb, Shelton Browder, Gordon Williams, and Michael Saari!

Other conference events include Green Coal and Cold Coal classes, family programs, the Local Talent Forge, Iron in the Hat, forge and tool box raffles, a variety of vendors, a Friday night Banquet, Auction, and Forging Competition.

Head on over to their conference website, www.sbaconference.com for more details and the registration form, it’s $55 in advance, $65 at the gate.

Thanks, SBA!

I also wanted to tell you about a new blacksmith podcast called The Blacksmith’s Pub, I know I’ve mentioned this to you guys already, but their latest episode released last week is all about Damascus with Dave Kurdyla.  You can listen to the episode in iTunes, and Stitcher or from their website, www.theblacksmithspub.com.

What We Talked About

  • He opened his blacksmith business in 1987, so this year, 2017, will be its 30th He went full time with the business in 1993.
  • While David was going to university in Canada for geological engineering he had a part-time job at a blacksmith shop. When David graduated, there were not any jobs in geological engineering so he decided to open his blacksmith business full time.
  • When he started his full-time business, he chose to make a line of wholesale products; hooks, candle holders, fireplace sets, etc. and sell them at wholesale shows to retailers. He said that was nice because the retailers are more educated about handmade items and they paid on time.
  • David explains how he comes up with his wholesale pricing.
  • He also says that making products for wholesaling makes you very efficient with your time and your forge work.
  • David eventually moved from wholesaling his product line to 2D and 3D sculptures. Mostly organic themes.
  • There is a free membership offered on David’s website that has numerous blog articles about blacksmith techniques. He has just over 5000 members in his online community.
  • David was recently an instructor at the Haliburton School of Art and Design in Canada, he taught an art history class on ironwork from 3500 BC to current day.
  • While researching the different art periods in metal, David learned a lot. He started with the Celtic period, then Viking, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, then jumped into Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
  • David teaches 3-day weekend classes out of his shop every other weekend and the classes are booked for the next 7 months. To see his class schedule, go to his website.

 Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – SBA Conference

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Apr 17 2017

42mins

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Rank #4: Ep 121 – Bob Bergman “Eight ways to make a buck”

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This week I’ve got Bob Bergman from Blanchardville Wisconsin.  He bought an old blacksmith shop 50 years ago in Postville, Wisconsin.  He talks about his beginnings and traveling through Europe working and learning at 15 different shops over 2 months.  He tells us the history behind the Postville Blacksmith shop which started in 1856. 

What We Talked About 

  • Bob started working in an advertising agency after college and immediately knew that business suit and desk were not for him!
  • He then accepted a production assistant job for a feature film, it was 1968, the spring Martin Luther King was murdered. NYC was becoming electrified, amped up, so Bob decided to move out of state and look for land in Wisconsin.
  • After purchasing 4 acres and a house, his realtor took him by an old but still operating blacksmith shop that was for sale. He met the 80-year-old blacksmith, who was the second owner of the business, and decided to purchase the business from him for $500 (the building, the tools, the land)! The first owner opened the shop in 1856.
  • Bob learned his basic blacksmith skills from a local country blacksmith, Thomas Kammerude, who lived up the road from Bob’s newly purchased shop.
  • In 1976, Bob attended one of the first ABANA blacksmith conferences in Carbondale, Illinois. He met Francis Whitaker at this conference and he wanted to learn more from him, so Francis told him he had to take a class first at the John C Campbell folk school.  Bob signed up long with Clay Spencer, Ray Nager, Glenn Gilmore, Jim Batson and more.  They would all continue to take master classes from Francis for the next few years.
  • Bob continued to travel through the US and apprentice with working blacksmiths during his slow winters. In 1985 he also traveled through Europe, doing a journeyman type program over 2 months, working in 12 to 15 different shops in different countries.
  • In the late 1990’s he expanded the shop by adding 4000 sq ft building and a 3000 sq ft machine shop to complete bigger jobs.
  • After 50 years in business, Bob is ready for retirement and looking for a buyer for the business, shop, tools and land. If you are interested in more details, you can contact Bob here, (608) 527-2494 or email postvilleblacksmith@gmail.com.
  • One “Golden Client” hired Bob to do a large amount of architectural work at his private home in Ridgeway CO, most of that work has been documented in the book called “Heritage in Iron”.

Guest Links

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Jun 11 2018

1hr

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Rank #5: Episode #84 – Bruce Beamish “The Power Hammer Baron ”

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Bruce Beamish is an industrial-trained blacksmith in Australia, his passion for blacksmithing started when he was 15 in school.  He took a metals class that included forging.  After school he decided to continue learning the craft and work as an apprentice, he was offered a job with the Australian Navy as an industrial blacksmith. 

What We Talked About

  • Bruce tells us how his ABANA 2016 experience was as an attendee and an Anyang Rep, demonstrating some the Anyang Hammers onsite.
  • Being a faraway Australian member of ABANA for many years, he recalls the first five years of ABANA and how Dick Quinnell visited one the early conferences and was inspired to start the British Artist Blacksmith Association back in the UK.
  • Australia has many state based blacksmith associations, though it doesn’t have one large association that covers all of Australia, such as ABANA.
  • Bruce’s passion for blacksmithing started when he was 15 in school. He took a metals class that included forging metal.  After school he decided to continue forging and work as an apprentice, he was offered a job with the Australian Navy as an industrial blacksmith.
  • We talk about why Bruce approached me to do an Australian Series of podcasts with Aussie blacksmiths. He would like to bring awareness of the craft to the Australian public as well as grow the education opportunities for blacksmiths.
  • The Australian Series of podcasts will include interviewing:
    • Lindsay Cole, the head instructor at Ultimo Tafe (TAFE – stands for Technical And Further Education government funded college) for the trade training of industrial blacksmiths 
    • Matt Mewburn, Matt is a successful graduate of Lindsay’s teaching and is now running classes himself at the historic Eveleigh Railway Blacksmith Shop as well as running his own business. 
    • Amanda Gibson, coordinated the Tree Project, a mammoth undertaking in time, resilience and determination. The Tree project is a memorial to the people who lost their lives in the Black Saturday Bushfires of 2009.  It is a full sized tree forged from Stainless Steel covered with over three thousand leaves from around the world.  It is set in a very peaceful garden setting with forged timber and steel seating and a lovely garden, it is a special place you cannot help but be touched when you visit it.
    • Denise Axelsen is another Blacksmith that I think would bring an interesting perspective. Denise trained at Hereford at the same time as Mark Aspery and she is a past secretary of BABA. She has travelled to a number of places to live and that is a story in itself, Blacksmithing in Saudi Arabia (as a woman). In Perth, Australia, Cairns, Australia and now a new forge in rural Victoria.
  • Gameco will be the sponsor of this series because the owner, Corwin, has been the driving force and playing a large part in supplying and growing the bladesmith and blacksmith craft there in Australia.

Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Gameco Artisan Supplies

Sep 19 2016

42mins

Play

Rank #6: 100th ep Final

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Yup, this is my 100th episode.  Bob Menard from the New England Blacksmiths just asked me the other day did you envision the 100th when you started?  The answer is NO Way!

The reason I started this podcast 3 years ago was to help create a tighter knit blacksmith community around the world, to aid and encourage forging new connections by having casual conversations every week so we can learn a little something about our peers.  I thought I would talk about a few of the connections I’ve made over the past 3 years and about some of the connections that a few listeners have made by listening to the podcast.  Then I’ll jump right into another JayBurn Journal (an article written by Jay Burnham Kidwell) about different kinds of forging connections such as riveting, hot metal wrapping, mortise and tenon and such.

Summary:

Hot Connections

Forge Welding

Arc Welding

MIG Welding

Tig Welding

Oxy/acetelyne, oxy/propane gas welding

Oxy/acetelyne, oxy/propane gas brazing and soldering

Forge brazing

Forge soldering

Mortise and Tenon

Hot Rivets

Cold Connections are:

Copper rivets

Collars and wraps

Claydon Connections

Tension connections

Nuts and bolts

Articulated connections

Socket bearing connections

Collaring – to determine the length of the collar material: measure around the pieces to be collared plus 2 ½ times the thickness of the collar material.  This will be the cut length before beveling the ends.

Square Tenons – Upset the end of the bar a ½”, then do another upset just under the first upset, use a side set or spring fuller to establish the tenon and the shoulder. Then draw out the tenon, even up the shoulder edges with a monkey tool and check fir size and fit with the mortise.  The tenon should extend about 1 ½ times the diameter of the tenon through the mortise hole.

Pass- through connections – using a slitting chisel and a swage block that is a little bigger than the pass through stock.

Stuart Hill’s connection using a square tube that is twice the thickness of the pieces to be joined.

Arno Muller’s corner connection – forge a square corner with an upset at the 90 degree bend and then forge out a tongue from the outside corner.  Repeat this with another piece of square stock and join the two tongues in an opposite fashion.

Oval Rivets by Mark Aspery – from his Volume III book titled, “Mastering the Fundamentals of Traditional Joinery” available at www.MarkAspery.com.

Mar 27 2017

25mins

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Rank #7: Episode #75 – Lorelei Sims “Organic Metalworking”

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Lorelei Sims started her blacksmithing career in 1993 by purchasing a shop in Charleston, Illinois following her art education.  She has grown her blacksmithing business by forging functional art pieces.  As the best-selling author of “The Backyard Blacksmith” book, Lorelei is well respected throughout the blacksmithing community. 

What We Talked About

  • The book “The Backyard Blacksmith” is celebrating its 10th year in publication and still the number 1 blacksmithing book on the market!
  • Lorelei was inspired by her grandfather and his copper organic looking metalwork. This was her connection to botanical work in metal, hence the subject for the new publication.
  • When Lorelei makes botanically inspired metalwork, she first dissects the organic forms such as the flower, the bud, the vine. Then she organizes each piece in an eye pleasing composition.
  • “Organic Metalworking” is Lorelei’s next publication, similar to a magazine format and size it will concentrate on her floral and organic techniques. This serial publication was released in March of th2016. To get information on how to purchase “Organic Metalworking” visit http://www.blacksmithchic.com/ .
  • Queue McMillan is the editor and designer of the Organic Metalworking publication, so she and Lorelei first had to fit all of the content into 3 distinct categories; tools/ equipment, techniques, and projects. So they decided to concentrate on the vine and leaf motif for each of the categories.
  • Lorelei remembers when Quarry publications contacted her to write the “Backyard Blacksmith” and the first thing she remembers was thinking… “how hard can it be?”. At the time, she was offered a one-time writers fee with no future royalties.
  • This first edition of Organic Metalworking was dedicated to Dano Goostree who was a blacksmith. His specialty was adhering copper to the bottom of cookware, which is a lost art.  He passed away in 2013.
  • The second publication of Organic Metalworking will be about the woodlands and should be released in the next year or so.

Guest Links

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Jun 20 2016

32mins

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Rank #8: Episode #99 – Julida Alter “The Blacksmith’s Daughters”

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Julida Alter is the youngest of 6 in a strong Polish Catholic family where her father and two brothers are blacksmiths.  Julida and her sister are part of a 4-person band called “The Blacksmith’s Daughters”, they are located outside of Minneapolis Minnesota.  Recently formed in 2015, The Blacksmith's Daughters (a family folk/pop band) believe that music should inspire the best in each other. That is why they create music that makes people happy. Many times this happiness comes out through authentic love songs with soaring melodies, intense harmonies and intertwined guitar and ukulele. 

What We Talked About

  • Julida comes from a family of blacksmiths, 4 generations in fact! Her father, Boleslaw Kochanowski, is a well-known blacksmith in the Wisconsin and Chicago area.
  • Her father has visited his native country, Poland, to research his genealogy and how it ties to the blacksmith craft. He has found business records from the early 1900’s of family members running a blacksmith business.
  • Her grandfather was fighting in World War II and was captured by the Nazis, when he declared (he knew how to speak German) that he was a blacksmith the Nazis spared his life and put him to work on a farm in Germany.
  • The four pillars of the band are the two sisters, Annella Platta and Julida Alter, and their iron clad musicians (and also husbands), Brent Platta and Sean Alter. 
  • Two other regulars in the band are Jeremy Swider on violin and Krista Swider on viola (who also happen to be married). Jeremy and Krista teach private violin and viola lessons and also perform in the ensemble Sonorous Strings
  • Each of the band members have a background tied to music, A band teacher, a choir director, a piano teacher and professional viola and violin players.
  • Every member of the band writes their own lyrics and music and they like to use hand percussion instruments such as: hand shakers, Castanets, Cajon box drum and bass drums.
  • They are planning to release two albums in 2017, one in June and hopefully a Christmas album.

Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Southern Blacksmith Association, Their bi-annual conference May 18th - 21st.

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Mar 14 2017

18mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode #82 – Kevin and Heather Harvey “If you’ve got a feel for steel…go for it!”

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Heather and Kevin Harvey from South Africa, they are both Master Bladesmiths with the American Bladesmith Society. They attained their M.S stamps in 2003 making them, at that time, the only married couple Mastersmiths. Heather was the second lady Master Bladesmith. I think now there are four ladies that have their MS stamps  and one other married couple Mastersmiths worldwide. They are the only Master Bladesmiths on the African continent. Both are also members of the Knifemakers' Guild of Southern Africa and founder members of the Southern African Bladesmiths Association. Both are authorised instructors in Bladesmithing with the ABS. Regular classes are presented at their Heavin Forge Bladesmithing Studio and School in South Africa. The two will be travelling here to the Us and demonstrating at the SOFA Quad state round up.

What We Talked About

  • The couple met each other at a historical theme park, Gold Reef City, a re-creation of Johannesburg as a mining town 100 years ago. Heather was the blacksmith on site and Kevin was helping the woodworker in his workshop.  Eventually they began spending a lot of time together in each workshop, so much that the management decided to move the workshops closer together!
  • They both enjoy many outdoor activities together such as fly fishing, four wheeling, and taking care of their 4 horses (which are named after weapons, Assagai, Bowie, Tomahawk). And their sheep named Valiant.
  • In 1998 they both traveled to the American Bladesmith School in Arkansas for training. After returning to South Africa, they immediately founded the Southern African Bladesmiths Association (S.A.B.A) along with Bertie Rietveld and Tom Nelson.  They had at least 100 people show up for their first “hammer-in” , this was due to the fact that no one was forging knives at the time, most knifemakers were using the stock removal process.  So seeing forging techniques and heat treatment processes was very new to the current knifemakers in the area.
  • Kevin and Heather were involved with creating a marking schedule to be used by the Knifemakers' Guild of Southern Africa's evaluation committee in order to allow forged knives to be recognized and for people to attain guild membership by submitting forged knives. In 2003 Heather was the first person to pass their Guild evaluation using forged blades.
  • In 2003 they both received their Master Smith certifications in Atlanta with the American Bladesmith Society.
  • The recent television program “Forged in Fire” has helped fill Kevin and Heather’s knife classes they offer at Heavin Forge. In fact, they are booked full until June of 2017!
  • Their shop consists of three rooms: the clean room where they perform hand work, the dusty room is where the belt grinders are housed and the hot house room where all of the forging happens. They have enough stations for 6 students at one time.
  • Due to the lack of good quality anvils being available in South Africa, Kevin designed an anvil pattern and had a group of 12 cast. He talks about the process and what it was like seeking out foundries and heat treaters in South Africa.
  • They will be coming to the US to demonstrate at the SOFA Quad State Round up in September 2016. The demonstration will be making a Zulu Assegai (spear) where the blade length, excluding the narrow tang, is between 14 – 16 inches. The demo will involve forging the blade, heat treating it, grinding and polishing. The wooden shaft will be made at their home in South Africa from royal wood known as “pink ivory” which was only used by Zulu chiefs in their weapons. Heather will be giving a presentation and lecture on the Zulu culture and the history of the Assegai weapon.
  • Heather is not able to forge anymore due to having some injuries to her right thumb and left forearm. The injuries are not related to forging, they were separate accidents that happened on their farm. 

Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor –Sothern Ohio Forge and Anvil organization, http://www.sofablacksmiths.org/index.html

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Sep 05 2016

32mins

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Rank #10: Episode #83– Toby Druce “Mid-life Career Change to Blacksmithing”

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Toby Druce is making a mid-life career change to become a blacksmith.  He is from the Toronto area in Ontario Canada and has been a social worker with the City of Toronto for the past 29 years.  He has decided to change career paths and learn to become a blacksmith by attending the Fleming College Blacksmith Program over the next 15 weeks. Toby and I will be doing a 4-part podcast series, 4 interviews while he is going through this transition in life and through the Fleming College Blacksmith Program over the next 15 weeks, starting September 2016, by the time this podcast is released he will have been in the program for one week.  This episode was recorded a week before Toby starts the program, which is in Haliburton, Ontario, and we are talking about why he chose blacksmithing and what he plans to do with it at the end of the program.

What We Talked About

  • Toby Druce has been a social worker and grants administrator for the past 29 years working with municipal homeless and street outreach programs for the City of Toronto, Ontario Canada.
  • Toby was first drawn to blacksmithing when he took a beginner class at a local high school, in their auto body shop.
  • When toby lost his job in 2015 he knew this was a great opportunity to pursue blacksmithing as a career. He looked at blacksmith programs in the UK and Canada and choose the Fleming College blacksmith program through the Haliburton School of Art and Design because of the condensed 15-week program.
  • The courses covered are: Forging Basics, History of Ornamental Ironwork, Drawing, Artistic Blacksmith - Projects I, Design, Marketing/Portfolio Development, and Artistic Blacksmith - Projects II.
  • For Toby, choosing the path to become a blacksmith was not for the monetary gains (which we know can be a very difficult path to financial freedom!) but instead to use his social working skills along with the blacksmith skills to further the work of social working organizations.
  • The program requires 600 hours of shop forge time and for each student to have 8 finished pieces to start your own body of work. The student will then learn how to photograph the eight pieces and professionally create a portfolio to present to a gallery.
  • Toby will be turning 50 in November, in the middle of the program and he couldn’t think of a better way to spend his 50th

Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Fleming College

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Sep 12 2016

23mins

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Rank #11: Ep 116 Haley Woodward and Colby Brinkman

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This week I’ve got Haley Woodward and Colby Brinkman out of Austin Texas.  To get a good idea of each of their forging skills have a look at each of their websites, www.Haleywoodward.com and www.metalmantis.com .  We had a great conversation about the each of their blacksmithing backgrounds, the Austin Forging Competition they started, which by the way is coming up on April 21st and let me announce the competitors that will be there this year; Monica Coyne, John Rais and Steven Yusko, The Vasquez Brothers, Mike Rossi and Daniel Beck, JR Lodico, Jim Masterson and Logan Hirsh (2017 winners), Meagan Crowley and Elizabeth Brim, James Viste and Brad Nichols.  Anyway, Haley and Colby talk about the infamous bus ride to Mexico and about their duo demo at the CBA Spring Conference.

And that brings us to our sponsor for today’s episode and that’s the 2018 CBA Spring Conference organizers.

To register, head over to www.calsmith.org and click on the events tab for the online registration button.

What We Talked About

  • While Haley was in college when he took a sculpture class with a metal working component, after making several welded sculptures he searched for a blacksmithing college program to further his metal working skills.  He found that Austin Community College offered a few blacksmith classes and moved to Austin for enrollment. 
  • Haley and Colby met on a college field trip to Mexico, actually a 37-hour bus ride to Santa Clara Del Cobre, Mexico for a 3-week copper smithing course.
  • Colby’s background also started with taking classes at the Austin Community College in 1995.
  • Colby spent 2 years in Europe as a blacksmith apprentice, specifically with Joseph Muck in the Czech Republic, Sebastian Fisher in Spain and Claudio Bottero in Italy.
  • Haley and Colby talk about how the Austin Metal Authority started, basically because they needed a name for a studio tour they participated in.
  • The Austin Forging Competition is an annual event that Haley and Colby started in their Austin Metal Authority shop, they talk about how it has now moved to the Mobile Loaves Community site and has about 1000 attendees.

Guest Links

Feb 12 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #12: Ep 122 Anna Koplik "Weaponry Flatware"

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This week I’ve got Anna Koplik, a young blacksmith who is currently completing an artist residency at the Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pennsylvania.  She talks about her BFA in Jewelry and how she became interested in weaponry during college, which ended up being her intro to blacksmithing.

Before we get to the interview I wanted to mention today’s sponsor is again provided on behalf of the New England Blacksmiths, an ABANA affiliate serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. And also will be driving the ABANA 2020 Conference in Saratoga, NY They’ve got a great website, check it out at  http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/

What We Talked About

  • Anna is currently finishing an artist residency at the Touchstone center for crafts, during this 4-week residency she has been working on making tools for herself.
  • In exchange for Anna being able to use the school’s resources to make her tools during her residency, she helps out around the school, cleaning and assisting in other classes.
  • The school’s blacksmith shop has 12 student coal forging stations, an instructor coal forge, each with an anvil and post vise, a room full of tongs and hammers, 2 power hammers and gas forges.
  • In years past Anna has worked at the school as a studio technician and was able to assist some top-rated instructors that have taught there such as Tom Latane and Mark Aspery.
  • She has a BFA from Pratt Institute, she focused on jewelry and also became interested in weaponry. This interest led her to take a bladesmithing class at the Peter’s Valley School of Craft, this opened up the world of blacksmithing to her.
  • Anna ended up taking an assistant position in the blacksmith shop at Peters Valley for a summer and this helped her grow her skills at the forge.
  • Another stepping stone for Anna was her winter apprenticeship with Atlas Forge where they focused on production blacksmithing.

Guest Links

Sep 17 2018

18mins

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Rank #13: Ep 117 Michael Whipps "New Metal Podcast"

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Guest Intro paragraph

This week I’ve got Michael Whipps from Melbourne Australia, btw he goes by Whipps.  He’s a metal worker who makes custom spherical firepits with his wife in Australia and he started blacksmithing about 6 months ago.  The reason I have him on today is to talk about his new podcast “Metal Sculpture Show”.  I think I’ve mentioned this before to you guys, I started a podcast network called The Burn Network, basically, it’s a collection of metalworking podcasts. The reason I started it was to encourage other blacksmith’s or metal workers to start their own podcasts and I would help them get started, show them the ropes of the podcast tech world, provide the hosting and continued support. To have a searchable network that offers relevant and different podcasts to our community of metal workers. So, Whipps contacted me 7 months ago about wanting to start a podcast on the network and have it be about metal art sculpture. We worked through the details of how this is a huge time consumer while being a labor of love for fellow artists, the equipment to work with, recording software, techniques of being a host of a show, etc and now, here we are talking about his podcast and his first 4 episodes that were just released a few days ago!

If anyone is interested in listening to the “master feed” of the Burn Network, just search for The Burn Network in your podcast apps, iTunes, Spotify and online at www.theburnnetwork.com.  If anyone is interested in starting a podcast and wants to know more info on what it takes, drop me a line at info@blacksmithre.com.

What We Talked About

  • Whips tells us why he wanted to start the podcast.
  • The topic of making a living as an artist comes up and life/work balance vs money making
  • Whipps describes his background that lead him to his metal working business called Whipps Designs, it involves mountain biking!
  • He tells the story of buying his first anvil from a farmer who didn’t want to sell it.

Guest Links

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Feb 20 2018

50mins

Play

Rank #14: Ep #91 – Toby Druce “Mid-life Career Change to Blacksmithing Part 3”

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Today is episode # 91 and we’re catchin up with Toby Druce again for the third time in his 15 week artist blacksmith program at Fleming college.  If you recall, Toby Druce made a mid-life career change to become a blacksmith.  He is from the Toronto area in Ontario Canada and has been a social worker with the City of Toronto for the past 29 years.  He decided to change career paths and learn to become a blacksmith by attending the Fleming College Blacksmith Program.  

What We Talked About

  • We talk about his final project and how far along he is with it, the design changed from his earlier thoughts of incorporating a compass rose.
  • Last time we spoke Toby successfully completed his first forge weld so I asked to see how this technique is going for him.
  • There were 15 students in the class with an age range from 17 to 57 years old and one has left the program.
  • Along with the final project, each student will also have to show 8 different completed projects. Toby tells us everything that he has made so far, a garden hat with a ribbon, 3 coat racks, a human  sculpture, some chisels and a nouveau duck.
  • Toby is still looking to apprentice with a local Toronto blacksmith business.

Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Fleming College

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Dec 12 2016

17mins

Play

Rank #15: Episode #123 – Michael Budd

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This week I’ve got Michael Budd back on the show, he’s a very talented artist blacksmith from Sligo Ireland. We talk about his trip to Tomsk Russia this past summer, where he was invited to demonstrate at a festival called “The Festival of the Ax”.

 What We Talked About

  • He attended a festival, the Festival of the Ax, as a demonstrator in Tomsk Russia, so he tells us about the festival and how he got invited. There were artists from over 100 different countries and 15 blacksmiths
  • We really go deep into introducing the craft of blacksmithing to college students and how the use of past publications could be more available in college libraries.
  • We touch on the “crowdfunding” idea for blacksmith conferences
  •  We talk about how hard it is to be an artist and to make a living at the same time.

Guest Links

Nov 26 2018

1hr 2mins

Play

Rank #16: Episode #86 – Toby Druce “Mid-life Career Change to Blacksmithing Part 2”

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Toby Druce is making a mid-life career change to become a blacksmith.  He is from the Toronto area in Ontario Canada and has been a social worker with the City of Toronto for the past 29 years.  He has decided to change career paths and learn to become a blacksmith by attending the Fleming College Blacksmith Program over the next 15 weeks. Toby and l are doing a 4-part podcast series and this is the 2nd interview, Toby is now 5 weeks into his program.

What We Talked About

  • With five weeks into his blacksmith program, he has obtained an A+ in Drawing and forged some tools; a hot chisel, hardy hot cut, punch, drift, and center punch.
  • He just successfully completed his first forge weld a few days ago for a pair of tongs.
  • There are 15 students in the class with an age range from 17 to 57 years old.
  • Each student has to come up with a design of a final project and forge it by the end of the program, Toby’s is going to be a table and table top and it will be his rendition of a compass rose.
  • Along with the final project, each student will also have to show 8 different completed projects. Toby plans to make a set of repousse tools, a demo of repousse, kitchen utensils, a set of garden tools, and more chisels.
  • Toby is already looking to reach out to a few Toronto blacksmith businesses for an apprenticeship.

 Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Fleming College

Maybe more pictures

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Oct 10 2016

19mins

Play

Rank #17: Episode #95 – Rachel David – “Nu Iron Age Show and Umlauts"

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Hola Muchacho’s, It’s episode #95 and I have Rachel David on the show to talk about an upcoming all forged metal show she and Zach Lihatsh are hosting in New Orleans.   Rachel is a blacksmith and artist living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Her business is called Red Metal Designs.  And Zach is an artist blacksmith living in Arizona, he’s a graduate and instructor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  They will be hosting a very special art show containing juried forged art pieces that have been submitted by all of you, the blacksmith community.  The art show is called “Nu Iron Age” and will be held in conjunction with the SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) convention, May 24th – 27th.  The details of the call for entry will be in the show notes for this episode on Blacksmither.com as well as the link to the website, called CAFÉ, in case you want to submit a piece.  If you are unfamiliar with the CAFÉ system, you must register an account (a free account) to submit applications for the calls for art they have listed.  I have uploaded a quick video of how easy it is to register in Café on my YouTube channel, Victoria Patti.  Rachel and I talk all about how to submit a piece, who the juror is, and why they are doing the show. 

What We Talked About

Nu Iron Age show dates – May 24, 2017 – May 27, 2017

Where – New Orleans

Entry Deadline: 4/21/17

Deadline to receive artwork May 20th

Media REQUIREMENTS: Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 6  Entry Fee (Nu Iron Age): $35.00

Blacksmiths; those that shape steel through fire and force, have often taken a backseat in the realm of modern art and design, deferring instead to function and tradition.  The last 2 decades have seen a new generation of blacksmith evolve.  They express an openness, and desire to engage with the art and design world. By organizing a show of contemporary forged iron work the hope is to connect blacksmithing with the wider conversation of metal work, contemporary craft, and the contemporary art world. This show will create a platform for relevant work within a fresh context. 

This show will happen in conjunction with this year’s SNAG conference. The SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) 2017 Convention’s theme is “nexus; a connection or hub”. “Nexus: A Connection of Ideas” will focus on motivating thinkers, collectors, and makers, to bring new and old, materials, techniques, and ideas together in New Orleans. As the conversation grows between the forging process and design; and as people connect their personal work to the greater field. The hope is that this show will help provide a contemporary space, one of sharing, connecting, and collaborating, a time-honored art form, a new Iron age.

HOW TO ENTER Please submit digital images only into the Café system (you need an account, it’s free).  Each artist is welcome to submit up to three (3) entries.  Images should be a minimum of 300 ppi, cannot exceed 5 MB each, and must be in JPG format. Limit of two images per entry (one full view and one detail image).

ELIGIBLE MEDIA Work must be produced from forged steel, contain some forged steel or reference the process of forging in some way. Other materials may be incorporated or used in the work submitted. Entries must be the complete work of the submitting artist. Kits or commercially designed works will not be accepted. All work must have been completed within the past two years (2014-2016).

NUMBER OF ENTRIES + ENTRY FEE Each artist is limited to three (3) entries. There is a $35 (USD) non-refundable fee, for up to three (3) entries. Payments must be submitted online at the time of application. SIZE LIMITATIONS All work must be ready for installation. We reserve the right to exclude any entry that presents complex installation or assembly problems.  If work is to be delivered and installed by the artist, complicated installation prohibitions may be waived. SALES A 30% commission will be retained from all work sold during the exhibition. Works which are not for sale must be clearly marked as such (NFS). PUBLICITY The exhibition will be publicized regionally, nationally and internationally. GDAC reserves the right to use photographs or digital images of any accepted work for the purpose of publicity.  SNAG publications, Metalsmith magazine and local papers will advertise the show. DELIVERY + RETURN OF WORK Artists are responsible for pre-paying all shipping charges to and from the exhibition site. Accepted works must be hand-delivered or shipped according to the instructions provided in the Artist Contract upon selection No work may be withdrawn before the close of the exhibition. Sending an entry to this exhibition shall imply an agreement on the part of the sender to all conditions above. Juror: Our juror for the show will be David Houston of the Bo Bartlett Center.

Links

Rachel’s Red Metal Business Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/redmetal1245?pnref=lhc

Rachel’s Red Metal Website - http://redmetal.net/

Call for Entry website: https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=4075

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Jan 23 2017

27mins

Play

Rank #18: Ep 90 Daniel Miller "Sweet Mary and Her Sons and Her Seas"

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Today is episode #90 and I have invited Daniel Miller back again to continue the discussion of his artistic approaches and creativity with forging.  Daniel Miller is a very talented blacksmith from Waynesville North Carolina and today he will read another article he wrote and published in the Anvils Ring, the winter issue of 2009.  This article is titled “Sweet Mary and Her Sons in Her Seas.”

Daniel grew up in North Carolina and has been working in the world of metal for more than thirty years. He is one of the most respected members of his craft, and well known among the smithing community. His work has appeared at the American Craft Museum in NY, and in gallery exhibitions around the world.

We Talked About:

  • How Daniel refines the design of a piece; does he usually draw versions of it first?  

  • Regarding the 4 legs of the table, we talk through the process of making the feet and ankles (they are my favorite part).  It looks like he split and drifted the area of the core of the body where two bands come through and are upset to stay there.  Then he continued the chiseled line of the split down to the feet.  How are the feet made to look so realistic, did he practice this technique on mild steel scraps before forging with the wrought iron?

  • We talk about the middle of the table, where the 8 stringer bands come together and how it looks like a puzzle to me.

  • I asked Daniel what he thought of the importance of holding an art degree. 

Guest Links:

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Nov 28 2016

46mins

Play

Rank #19: Episode #85 – Quad State 2016 Wrap-up!

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I recently attend my first SOFA Quad State Round-Up conference in Troy, Ohio and I wanted to give you guys a little summary of what went on last weekend, Sept. 22 - 25.  I’ll be interviewing 4 people who also attended; Rick Barter, Phoebe Anne Graham, Colin Fung and Jeff McCrady, an accumulation of different experiences.

Guest appearances on this episode:

  • Rick Barter from Kentucky
  • Phoebe Anne Graham from Indiana
  • Colin Fung from McHenry, Illinois
  • Jeff McCrady from Parkersburg, West Virginia

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil, www.sofablacksmiths.org

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Oct 03 2016

51mins

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Rank #20: Episode #73 – Bob Patrick and Peggy Kjelgaard “ESSA and their Blacksmith Program”

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Continuing along the education theme on the show this year I have a unique interview for you.  I’m interviewing two people at once and they are involved with the Eureka Springs School of the Arts in Arkansas.  The Eureka Springs School of Art in Eureka Springs, Arkansas offers classes and workshops for all of the arts, but is now building a bigger focus on metal arts with a new Iron Studio. Peggy Kjelgaard is the Executive Director of the school and Bob Patrick a nationally known blacksmith with professional experience since 1967. He has taught and demonstrated at regional and national conferences all over North America and is currently teaching at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.  Since he’s been in the blacksmithing craft since the late 60’s he’s got some great stories about the early days of ABANA, Francis Whitaker, George Dixon (who was once the head blacksmith at Yellin’s shop).

  • Peggy says the Eureka Springs School of Art (ESSA) opened in 2001 and was originally called the School Without Walls because they didn’t have their own facility. Over time, however, they grew into a 40-acre campus that attracts students from all over the country. She says that 60% of their students come from out of state.
  • Originally the school’s blacksmithing program was held outdoors and at satellite locations with classes taught by Bob Patrick. Because of high demand for blacksmithing, the school sought grant funding for a new studio. The studio opened its doors in 2014.
  • The new Iron Studio houses four propane forges, two coal forges inside, one outside and stations for metal fabrication. Those stations include three welders, plasma cutters, a large air hammer and treadle hammer and more items being added each year.
  • Bob Patrick designed the coal forges for the studio from scratch. He’s been blacksmithing since the late 1960s and is largely self-taught. His background is in horseshoeing, sleigh building and restoration. He also founded an ABANA chapter and has participated in four of their conferences.
  • About winning the Bealer Award in 2002, Bob says, “A tremendous number of people who deserve this award will never get it. There’s no fairness to that. The award is a tremendous honor, but the best thing is getting to do the metalwork.”
  • About blacksmithing as an art, Bob says, “Many times I feel I’m luckier than my customers because a lot of the things I’ll make on a piece look better when they’re red hot than they do when they’re installed and cleaned up and painted. We get to see it when it’s growing and alive.”
  • Patty says that there’s a definite movement building in the Ozarks toward blacksmithing and even young people are showing interest. They recently worked with a local school providing art classes for kids for a week. With the new studio, they were able to offer an iron studio class with 1:1 supervision. She describes it as “amazing”. “I think there’s a young group coming up that really wants to understand this craft. They’re in their backyards with charcoal grills making metal hot and pounding it on a rock,” Peggy says.
  • Bob says most of the classes at ESSA are beginner level, with a few intermediate. He’s also taught a gate building workshop.
  • ESSA recently hosted a smelting event for the Blacksmiths of Arkansas organization and they used local iron ore. The 3-day event included building an outdoor furnace and then doing the smelting.
  • When asked about book recommendations, Bob offered the following:
  1. The Backyard Blacksmith by Lorelei Sims, because everything is within a beginner’s grasp;
  2. The Smithy’s Craft and Tools by Otto Schmirler, because he shows all the basic techniques and “the drawings are magnificent”.
  • ESSA is offering several 5-day workshops this summer including:

               Beginning Metal Sculpture

                                Basics of Knife Making

                                Fire Tools for the Coal Forge and Fireplace

                                Forging Edged Tools

  • Peggy says that while ESSA offers all of the arts and every medium, “Iron is our newest and hottest because we’ve got that brand new studio out there. Everybody’s fired up.”

Guest Links

Jun 06 2016

54mins

Play

Ep 128 Pete Mattila "There is a responsibility with blacksmithing"

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This week I’ve got Pete Mattila from Tasmania, which is off the southern coast of Australia. We talk about his shop by the water’s edge, his US apprentice journey, and his design process. 

Before we get to the interview I wanted to mention today’s sponsors,

First we have the Adirondack Folk School.  It’s a non-profit school located in Lake Luzerne, in upstate New York.  The blacksmithing program at the Folk School includes 24 classes with an incredible line of blacksmithing instructors this year. To see the complete list of classes or to register, visit their website: www.adirondackfolkschool.org.

I’d also like to thank the New England Blacksmiths, the ABANA affiliate serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. Who by the way will be driving the ABANA 2020 Conference in Saratoga, NY Check us out at  http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/ Also They will be offering the Age of Iron weekend event at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, It’s happening the 1st weekend in August, 3rd and 4th.

Those interested in further details can contact Cindy Dickinson at cdickinson@hancockshakervillage.org  or DM @HayBudden on Twitter or Instagram. If you mention I’m here for the blacksmithing you’ll get an extra $5 off at the door!

Thanks NEB!

OK, let’s dive right into this interview with Pete.

What We Talked About

  • Pete first went to a technical college for welding, then he got a job as an apprentice was with an industrial blacksmith at the Ipswitch railyards in Queensland, Australia. There he forged a lot of industrial tools for mines, alloy steel forging.
  • Pete decided to go to art school and received his Bachelor of Fine art. He then received a scholarship for his master’s in fine art.
  • Pete talks about his apprentice journey through the United States, which included working with Albert Paley, Mountain Forge and included a research residency at the Metal Museum.
  • We talk about his design process which he includes 3 basic things: additive process, subtractive process and material displacement.
  • When Pete works with clients for commissioned pieces, one of the things he asks for is 3 words from the client that encapsulates what they envision.
  • About 80% of the time Pete sandblasts his sculptures first and then adds a chemical called Black Fast. Also follows up with beeswax.
  • One of Pete’s goals this year is to convert his gas forge into a veggie oil burning forge.

Guest Links

Jul 02 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Ep 127 Iron Maegan Crowley

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Hello welcome to episode 127 I am continuing my series of 12 podcast interviews (one a month) focusing on Design Process, Forging Process and Tool Making. Today I have Maegan Crowley from Colorado, she started her metal business in 2006 after attaining her Master of Fine Art from Cranbrook Academy.

I’d also like to thank today’s sponsor, Even Heat, they manufacture the finest heat treat ovens available, Even Heat Kiln was founded in 1948 and has steadily grown to become a major kiln manufacturer.  Find your next heat treat oven at evenheat-kiln.com.

Maegan's website - www.ironmaeganmetalworks.com 

Feb 28 2019

36mins

Play

Ep 126 Jeffery Funk on Design, Forging Process and Tool Making

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Hello welcome to episode 126, as I mentioned before in the last episode, I’ve decided to do a series of 12 podcast interviews (one a month) focusing on the guest's Design Process, Forging Process and Tool Making. We begin with Jeffery Funk who has been working iron, bronze, stainless steel, and other metals for over forty years in a small shop outside of Bigfork, Montana.  In our correspondence leading up to the interview, Jeffery said

 “Blacksmithing can be a portal to so many fascinating realms, far beyond the iron itself.”  And that is the essence of how our interview went, I’m grateful to have Jeffery on the show to share his wisdom in so many realms and the same gratitude goes, of course, to those of you who continue to listen, thank you.

I’d also like to thank today’s sponsor, Even Heat, they manufacture the finest heat treat ovens available, Even Heat Kiln was founded in 1948 and has steadily grown to become a major kiln manufacturer.  Find your next heat treat oven at evenheat-kiln.com.

Jeffery Funk's Website - http://jeffreyfunkmetalworker.com/

The New Agrarian School - http://www.newagrarianschool.org/ 

Jan 28 2019

55mins

Play

Ep 125 - 2019 Show

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Hello Happy New Year, welcome to 2019 and episode 125! 

I've decided on a different format for this year's podcast. I sat down recently and came up with 3 main topics and questions within each topic. I will ask the next 10 or so guests the same questions and hopefully dive deep into their Design Process, Forging Process and Tool Making.  Those are the 3 topics I’ll be asking my guests for the bulk of this year’s podcasts.

This podcast is sponsored by Evenheat, they manufacture the finest heat treat ovens available, Even Heat Kiln was founded in 1948 and has steadily grown to become a major kiln manufacturer.  Find your next heat treat oven at evenheat-kiln.com.

Jan 17 2019

7mins

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Ep 124 Ambrose Burne “#150mmchallenge”

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This week I’ve got Ambrose Burne, a very talented artist blacksmith living in Hereford, England.  He attended the Artist Blacksmith program at the Hereford College of the Arts and then opened his own forge and is a lecturer on the BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing program for Hereford.  Today we talk about his background a bit and about the 150mm Challenge he has started.  BTW Hereford College of the Arts is asking for submissions from anyone willing to take on the challenge. 

The exhibition submissions need to be sent to Hereford for 1st March:

Measured Making Exhibition

c/o Delyth Done

Hereford College of Arts

College Road

Hereford

HR1 1EB, United Kingdom

Please include your full address.

Hereford College of the Arts will be posting more details on their Instagram page @herefordanvils.

I wanted to let you know this podcast is sponsored by Evenheat, they manufacture the finest heat treat ovens available, Even Heat Kiln was founded in 1948 and has steadily grown to become a major kiln manufacturer.  I know Patrick Quinn at the Center for Metal arts has one and is happy with it, so find your next heat treat oven at evenheat-kiln.com.

Guest Links

Dec 03 2018

29mins

Play

Episode #123 – Michael Budd

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This week I’ve got Michael Budd back on the show, he’s a very talented artist blacksmith from Sligo Ireland. We talk about his trip to Tomsk Russia this past summer, where he was invited to demonstrate at a festival called “The Festival of the Ax”.

 What We Talked About

  • He attended a festival, the Festival of the Ax, as a demonstrator in Tomsk Russia, so he tells us about the festival and how he got invited. There were artists from over 100 different countries and 15 blacksmiths
  • We really go deep into introducing the craft of blacksmithing to college students and how the use of past publications could be more available in college libraries.
  • We touch on the “crowdfunding” idea for blacksmith conferences
  •  We talk about how hard it is to be an artist and to make a living at the same time.

Guest Links

Nov 26 2018

1hr 2mins

Play

Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin for Nov 2018

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This is the monthly Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in November 2018. 

If you have an event or class you would like to submit, send an email to info@blacksmither.com and I will send you the details I need for the press release.

Oct 01 2018

3mins

Play

Ep 122 Anna Koplik "Weaponry Flatware"

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This week I’ve got Anna Koplik, a young blacksmith who is currently completing an artist residency at the Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, Pennsylvania.  She talks about her BFA in Jewelry and how she became interested in weaponry during college, which ended up being her intro to blacksmithing.

Before we get to the interview I wanted to mention today’s sponsor is again provided on behalf of the New England Blacksmiths, an ABANA affiliate serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. And also will be driving the ABANA 2020 Conference in Saratoga, NY They’ve got a great website, check it out at  http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/

What We Talked About

  • Anna is currently finishing an artist residency at the Touchstone center for crafts, during this 4-week residency she has been working on making tools for herself.
  • In exchange for Anna being able to use the school’s resources to make her tools during her residency, she helps out around the school, cleaning and assisting in other classes.
  • The school’s blacksmith shop has 12 student coal forging stations, an instructor coal forge, each with an anvil and post vise, a room full of tongs and hammers, 2 power hammers and gas forges.
  • In years past Anna has worked at the school as a studio technician and was able to assist some top-rated instructors that have taught there such as Tom Latane and Mark Aspery.
  • She has a BFA from Pratt Institute, she focused on jewelry and also became interested in weaponry. This interest led her to take a bladesmithing class at the Peter’s Valley School of Craft, this opened up the world of blacksmithing to her.
  • Anna ended up taking an assistant position in the blacksmith shop at Peters Valley for a summer and this helped her grow her skills at the forge.
  • Another stepping stone for Anna was her winter apprenticeship with Atlas Forge where they focused on production blacksmithing.

Guest Links

Sep 17 2018

18mins

Play

**Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin** For the month of Oct 2018

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This is the monthly Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in October 2018. 

If you have an event or class you would like to submit, send an email to info@blacksmither.com and I will send you the details I need for the press release.

OK, I’ll go in Alphabetic order here:

Sep 06 2018

4mins

Play

**Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin** For the month of September 2018

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This is the monthly Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in September 2018. 

If you have an event or class you would like to submit, send an email to info@blacksmither.com and I will send you the details I need for the press release.

Aug 02 2018

6mins

Play

Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin Aug 2018

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This is the monthly Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, though this month I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in August 2018. 

If you have an event or class you would like to submit, send an email to info@blacksmither.com and I will send you the details I need for the press release.

OK, I’ll go in Alphabetic order here:

Jul 05 2018

6mins

Play

Ep 121 – Bob Bergman “Eight ways to make a buck”

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This week I’ve got Bob Bergman from Blanchardville Wisconsin.  He bought an old blacksmith shop 50 years ago in Postville, Wisconsin.  He talks about his beginnings and traveling through Europe working and learning at 15 different shops over 2 months.  He tells us the history behind the Postville Blacksmith shop which started in 1856. 

What We Talked About 

  • Bob started working in an advertising agency after college and immediately knew that business suit and desk were not for him!
  • He then accepted a production assistant job for a feature film, it was 1968, the spring Martin Luther King was murdered. NYC was becoming electrified, amped up, so Bob decided to move out of state and look for land in Wisconsin.
  • After purchasing 4 acres and a house, his realtor took him by an old but still operating blacksmith shop that was for sale. He met the 80-year-old blacksmith, who was the second owner of the business, and decided to purchase the business from him for $500 (the building, the tools, the land)! The first owner opened the shop in 1856.
  • Bob learned his basic blacksmith skills from a local country blacksmith, Thomas Kammerude, who lived up the road from Bob’s newly purchased shop.
  • In 1976, Bob attended one of the first ABANA blacksmith conferences in Carbondale, Illinois. He met Francis Whitaker at this conference and he wanted to learn more from him, so Francis told him he had to take a class first at the John C Campbell folk school.  Bob signed up long with Clay Spencer, Ray Nager, Glenn Gilmore, Jim Batson and more.  They would all continue to take master classes from Francis for the next few years.
  • Bob continued to travel through the US and apprentice with working blacksmiths during his slow winters. In 1985 he also traveled through Europe, doing a journeyman type program over 2 months, working in 12 to 15 different shops in different countries.
  • In the late 1990’s he expanded the shop by adding 4000 sq ft building and a 3000 sq ft machine shop to complete bigger jobs.
  • After 50 years in business, Bob is ready for retirement and looking for a buyer for the business, shop, tools and land. If you are interested in more details, you can contact Bob here, (608) 527-2494 or email postvilleblacksmith@gmail.com.
  • One “Golden Client” hired Bob to do a large amount of architectural work at his private home in Ridgeway CO, most of that work has been documented in the book called “Heritage in Iron”.

Guest Links

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Jun 11 2018

1hr

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Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin for July 2018

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This is the monthly Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, though this month I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in July 2018. 

If you have an event or class you would like to submit, send an email to info@blacksmither.com and I will send you the details I need for the press release.

OK, I’ll go in Alphabetic order here:

Jun 04 2018

7mins

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Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin for June 2018

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This is the monthly Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, though this month I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in June 2018. 

Apr 30 2018

5mins

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**Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin** For the month of May 2018

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This is the monthly Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, though this month I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in May 2018. 

If you have an event or class you would like to submit, send an email to info@blacksmither.com and I will send you the details I need for the press release.

Apr 02 2018

6mins

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Ep 120 Live Interviews from Blacksmith Events

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I talk to a couple of demonstrators while they were demonstrating at events this past weekend.

First I talk with Payne Anne Chassen and Sylvia Andrassy, they are in Pampano Beach, Florida for the FABA SE Regional meet.  The meet was held at the Guild, a non-profit folk art school started by Shaun Williams and Sylvia Andrassy.  Payne was demonstrating a corner shelf with antique glass bulbs incorporated into the design.

Then I talk to Dennis Dusek who was demonstrating garden tools at the Weaverville Hammer-in, this is held at the Jake Jackson Museum Weaverville, California.  He walked around and spoke with the other demonstrators that were there, Monica Coyne, Brett Moten, Dan Perkins, Victoria Ritter and Mark Aspery. 

Links:

Facebook page for FABA SE

Jake Jackson Website

Mar 19 2018

19mins

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Ep #119 - CBA 2018 Spring Conference Crew

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This week I’ve got the CBA Spring Conference organizers, the crew that has dedicated countless volunteer hours of their time planning and scheduling the CBA 40th Anniversary Spring Conference coming up April 12 – 14 in Placerville, CA.  The crew consists of Dennis Dusek, the conference chair, aka the big cheese, Dan Perkins, who is the CBA Education director, Victoria Ritter who is in charge of the volunteers and vendors, and Paul Boulay, the Vice President of the CBA.  We talk about what it takes to host an event of this size and what to expect during the conference.

And they happen to be the sponsor for today’s episode. There is still time to get the early bird discount of $165 for all 3 days if you register before March 22nd.  The demonstrator line-up is:

Zeevik Gottlieb, Lynda Metcalfe, Ellen Durkan, Haley Woodword, Colby Brinkman, David Lisch, Mark Aspery, Darryl Nelson and Paul Boulay.

To register, head over to www.calsmith.org and click on the events tab for the online registration button.

What We Talked About

  • Dennis tells us about his past conferences that he has organized, the last one was in 2013 with an attendance of around 400 people.
  • The core group of 4, Dennis, Paul, Dan and Victoria, meet weekly to go through a list of things that need attention. This happens for eight months ahead of the conference.
  • Each person has a role; Paul Boulay works with the budget and the big picture ideas with Dennis, Victoria Ritter works with organizing the groups of vendors, volunteers and registration people, and Dan Perkins is the education site manager, helping with the layout of the venue and gathering/installing all of the equipment for the demonstrators and teaching tents.
  • CBA will be purchasing 10 anvils, so they can have 10 forging stations at the conference for the attendees to use.
  • We talk about the forging contests that will be held each night of the conference; forging a cube, forge anything from a railroad spike and a wearable art forged piece.

Guest Links

Mar 12 2018

43mins

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**Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin** For the month of April 2018

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This is the Blacksmith Buzz Bulletin.  Where you get the low-down about upcoming classes and events that are happening in the following month, though this month I’ll be telling you about classes and events happening in April 2018.  I’ve got a lot of schools and events lined up for the rest of the year coming at you every month.

If you have an event or class you would like to submit, send an email to info@blacksmither.com and I will send you the details I need for the press release.

Mar 06 2018

6mins

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Ep 118 Tips and Tricks from Associations

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Today I’m going to share a few tips and tricks I’ve found in various blacksmith association newsletters.  I’m not sure how many of you are ABANA members and receive the Hammers Blow quarterly Journal, I do and The current editor is, Dan Nauman, wrote a small article titled Picture That about photography, mainly photographing your work.  In my local blacksmith association newsletter, Forge Facts from the Rocky Mountain Smiths, I saw a great tip on riveting I want to share which came from Dorothy Stiegler, a blacksmith out of California. And then from the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association newsletter of December 2012, there was a quick snippet about penetrating oils and testing done on frozen, rusted nuts on bolts. 

What We Talked About

  • Hammer’s Blow, Volume 26 #1 article written by Dan Nauman titled “Picture That”. This addresses the importance of having good portfolio pictures early on in your career, even if you are a hobbyist.
  • Riveting tips from Dorothy Steigler
  • Penetrating Oils test from the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association newsletter of December 2012

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor - Eureka Springs School of the Arts, http://essa-art.org/ or give them a call (479) 253-5384.

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Feb 26 2018

13mins

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Ep 117 Michael Whipps "New Metal Podcast"

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Guest Intro paragraph

This week I’ve got Michael Whipps from Melbourne Australia, btw he goes by Whipps.  He’s a metal worker who makes custom spherical firepits with his wife in Australia and he started blacksmithing about 6 months ago.  The reason I have him on today is to talk about his new podcast “Metal Sculpture Show”.  I think I’ve mentioned this before to you guys, I started a podcast network called The Burn Network, basically, it’s a collection of metalworking podcasts. The reason I started it was to encourage other blacksmith’s or metal workers to start their own podcasts and I would help them get started, show them the ropes of the podcast tech world, provide the hosting and continued support. To have a searchable network that offers relevant and different podcasts to our community of metal workers. So, Whipps contacted me 7 months ago about wanting to start a podcast on the network and have it be about metal art sculpture. We worked through the details of how this is a huge time consumer while being a labor of love for fellow artists, the equipment to work with, recording software, techniques of being a host of a show, etc and now, here we are talking about his podcast and his first 4 episodes that were just released a few days ago!

If anyone is interested in listening to the “master feed” of the Burn Network, just search for The Burn Network in your podcast apps, iTunes, Spotify and online at www.theburnnetwork.com.  If anyone is interested in starting a podcast and wants to know more info on what it takes, drop me a line at info@blacksmithre.com.

What We Talked About

  • Whips tells us why he wanted to start the podcast.
  • The topic of making a living as an artist comes up and life/work balance vs money making
  • Whipps describes his background that lead him to his metal working business called Whipps Designs, it involves mountain biking!
  • He tells the story of buying his first anvil from a farmer who didn’t want to sell it.

Guest Links

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Feb 20 2018

50mins

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iTunes Ratings

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Great show!

By DKForgeworks - Jan 15 2019
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I love listening to Patti interview the guests. Very informative and fun to learn about new people.

This is Fresh!!

By Victoria Ross Patti - Oct 05 2014
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I love the podcast interviews of women blacksmiths, they are funny and entertaining!