Ep 121 – Bob Bergman “Eight ways to make a buck”
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 email@example.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 Postville Blacksmith Shop: https://www.postvilleblacksmith.com/ Old World Anvils: oldworldanvils.com The KA75 Striking Hammer: ka75.com Heritage in Iron book: https://bluemoonpress.org/index.php/heritage-in-iron.html If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
11 Jun 2018
Episode #52 Forge Welding
I’m reading an article from the California Blacksmith Association Newsletter, I belong to that organization and my membership has helped me in so many ways. There are a lot of talented and skilled blacksmiths in California who belong to that association who share their tips and tricks of the trade. The newsletter is one that I look forward to reading every time it publishes (every other month), for information on becoming a member visit http://www.calsmith.org/ . The article is about Basic Forge –Welding by Jay Burnham-Kidwell, Golden Valley, Arizona. Forge welding seems to be one of the most controversial procedures in blacksmithing. Probably because it’s the most magical and scientific technique. Clarifying the process is difficult both in a live workshop and in a written article. Sharing the content in a podcast, audibly might be another way for you to absorb this magical process. From the article: “The basic requirements for a successful forge-weld are: A clean, reducing coke or gas forge Metals properly prepared and fluxed Proper heat Proper hammer control Precise manipulation of the material, both within and without the fire Speed in execution of the weld The areas to be welded should be brought to a bright orange or light yellow, wire brushed and fluxed.” Flux means “to flow”, there are many fluxes to be used, “20 Mule Team Borax” is the one of choice by the author of the article. Different alloys and carbon contents are talked about – how they will weld at different temperatures.
14 Dec 2015
Episode #75 – Lorelei Sims “Organic Metalworking”
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 Lorelei’s website - http://www.blacksmithchic.com/index.html BlacksmithChic Business Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/fivepointsblacksmithshop?fref=ts A Craftsmen Legacy episode with Lorelei - http://www.craftsmanslegacy.com/episodes/season_1/Episode-9 If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
20 Jun 2016
Episode #84 – Bruce Beamish “The Power Hammer Baron ”
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 Ultimo TAFE – Blacksmithing Advanced Course Gameco - http://gameco.com.au/ Anyang power hammer videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jamesrjohn A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Gameco Artisan Supplies
19 Sep 2016
Most Popular Podcasts
Ep #113 – David Lisch “The Pilot for Forged in Fire Story”
This week I’ve got David Lisch, he’s a blacksmith turned award-winning Master Smith knife maker, from Yelm, Washington. A respected innovator of unique guard designs and Damascus steel that can be seen in his beautiful knives. David has run a successful blacksmith business for 25 years in Seattle and now teaches at his school, Oak Grove Forging Facility in Yelm WA. He achieved a Master Smith rating from the American Bladesmith Society (ABS)in 2015 and is the 6th Master Smith in the state of Washington. Now you’ll have to listen all the way to the end of the interview, because after I wrapped it up with Dave and we said our good bye’s I always turn off the recorder and follow up with the guest to see how they thought it went. In this instance, I ended up asking Dave about the Forged in Fire comment he mentioned, so I turned the recorder back on and you could hear his Forged in Fire experience. What We Talked About David now fills most of his time making high-end award-winning knives and teaching classes which fill up in 1 to 2 days after posting. He used to have a shop and school in Seattle for 15 years where he textured metal for Nordstrom’s and other companies. When marijuana became legal in Washington state, the warehouse spaces quickly became grow houses and in turn, the rents were raised and warehouses for rent were hard to find. The increase in David’s rent from $2500 to $3200 eventually made him move out and buy a property that had both a house and shop space. These days David is incorporating his sculptural side of blacksmithing to his blades. He recently sold a frog (for $10k) with a dagger coming out of his throat and a Damascus dragonfly on his tongue. David was introduced to Damascus at one of his friend’s shops, where a few blacksmiths got together and made some damascus. Then at one of the NWBA (North West Blacksmith Association) annual conferences, he traded a hammer he made for some Damascus making stock. He started making Damascus before he ever made a blade! His first knife making class was from Bob Kramer in 2006. After joining the American Bladesmith Society he became an apprentice bladesmith, then passed his journeyman smith certification, then 5 years later passed his master smith certification. In his shop, he has 330lb Wolf Air hammer, 165 lb Wolf air hammer, 3 hydraulic presses, 10 grinders and 10 anvils. He has been a member of the NWBA for over 20 years and he and his wife have served on the board for 4 years. David will be demonstrating at the upcoming CBA Spring Conference and he will demo knife making for beginners (staghorn small knife with a 4 in blade) and have separate demonstrations for intermediate and expert knife makers. Including pinning on a wood handle for a kitchen knife, shaping guards and finishing techniques. He makes all of his own gas forges, they are 1 burner venture forges made from cut up oxygen tanks, 11 inches long. He says it’s very important to coat the Kaowool inside your forge with a refractory castable cement. He uses Mizzou castable in his forges, you can find it online. Guest Links Website - http://www.davidlisch.com/index.html Instagram - @davidlisch American Bladesmith Society Website - http://www.americanbladesmith.com/ A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – CBA Spring Conference, www.calsmith.org If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
15 Jan 2018
Episode #106 – Bob Menard “Blacksmith Royalty”
Today I have Bob Menard, owner of the Ball and Chain Forge, which is mainly a custom architectural blacksmith shop in Portland Maine. He has been in business since 1990. He is also the editor of the NEB’s quarterly newsletter. Today we talk about his beginnings, production work, 180 lb plant hooks, what the ….and collaborative artwork projects. Bob also gives us some golden nuggets about business insurance for blacksmiths. Today’s episode sponsorship provided on behalf of New England Blacksmiths, the ABANA affiliate serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. Check us out at http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/ In fact they have an event comping up called the Age of Iron at Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA it’s happening the 1st weekend in August, 5th and 6th for the whole weekend. And here’s an insider’s tip for my listeners, any visitor that says they are there for the "Blacksmithing demonstrations", or for the "Age of Iron" will get the discounted group rate for admission to the village, this includes all exhibits, not just the Blacksmithing demo. For more details of this event go to their website www.hancockshakervillage.org For further details contact Cindy Dickinson at the village, she’s the education director firstname.lastname@example.org or DM @HayBudden on Twitter or Instagram, Stephen Conner. What We Talked About Bob grew up with horses as a child and was always fascinated with the farrier that came over to shoe the horses, mainly the fact that he could produce a fire on the back of his truck. Then in high school, as a sophomore, there was an Early American History class where Bob and 30 other students built a log cabin settlement on the school grounds. During the construction of this cabin, Bob volunteered to learn how to make some of the hardware needed by using the industrial arts department’s anvil, a gas fired blast furnace and 2 books by Alex Bealer and Alex Weygers, The Complete Blacksmith. Bob started to sell his forged wares very soon after learning the trade, in fact, he sold the second piece he ever made to his high school’s cafeteria manager. Bob continued to grow his business for 15 years and then discovered the New England Blacksmith’s group and ABANA. Bob started selling trinkets at a local shop called “The Candle and Mug”, he developed a line of pieces that were candle centric. Bob still has his notes from these early designs. In Bob’s shop today, they are making custom architectural ironwork, such as gates, fencing, railings etc. Art fabrication is another lucrative income for his shop, this is when an artist comes to him with their sculpture design and hires them to fabricate it. Bob talks about business insurance for blacksmiths due to two recent blacksmith shop fires. He advises having your equipment properly insured for the value of it in today’s dollars. Bob teaches a few classes through the NEB teaching facility and at other well-known craft schools, such as the Adirondack Folk School. Mokume Gane is another focused technique that Bob has been studying and is now teaching students. Guest Links Bob Menard’s business website - http://www.ballandchainforge.com Bob’s YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/MySmithx New England Blacksmiths website - newenglandblacksmiths.com A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – New England Blacksmiths If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
17 Jul 2017
Ep 108 – Peter Braspenninx “The M.C. Escher of Blacksmithing”
Pete Braspenninx is an artist blacksmith living in Cazenovia, Michigan and is the owner of Phyre Forge. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design in 2004 with a focus in ceramics and jewelry. Since being exposed to the blacksmith craft 14 years ago he has focused on transforming line into a continuous form with meticulous traditional joinery. He has started a body of work called “Calculating Infinity” and there are 25 pieces in this body of work. We talk about the what, why and how he calculates infinity. We also talk about his upcoming demonstration at the 40th Quad State Round up in Troy, Ohio. That leads me to today’s sponsor, a big thank you goes out to SOFA and the Quad State Round Up Conference which started in 1977, 40 years ago. The dates of the conference are September 22 to the 24th at the Miami County Fairgrounds in Troy, Ohio. The demonstrators are Peter Braspenninx, Michael Bendele, Joe Bonifas (those two cats attended the very first Quadstate in 1977 and have only missed one to this day), Kevin Cashen, Nathan Allen, Richard Sullivan and Benjamin Lockhart with Danielle Russel. I’ve been asked to create a short film about the Quad State history for the Opening Ceremony this year. Don’t miss this year’s event, it’s a very special one with its 40th anniversary and I have a feeling the tailgate sales are going to be unbelievable this year. Please visit the website, www.sofablacksmiths.org to access the online registration form and other details. What We Talked About Pete has been attending the SOFA Quad Round ups for the last 12 years and this year he will be a demonstrator on Friday night. He will forge one of his calculating infinity pieces. His body of work called “Calculating Infinity” is a technical assignment for himself. To be able to take one piece of stock and to create it into form. Through completing 25 pieces in the series, Pete says he has gained layout and precise measurement skills. While Pete was finishing his art degree at the University of Michigan he visited a local blacksmith’s shop, Scott Lankton, and watched him demonstrate forging on a big Nazel power hammer. Pete was excited to learn more about the craft, so he got a job with another local smith working in the paint booth, and watching the forging that happened in the shop. Pete recalls his first Quad State Conference when Peter Ross gave a lock lecture and when he met Tom Clark. After college Pete worked in an ornamental fab shop for 12 years. They made railings and other architectural work. His 30’ x 40’ pole barn shop consists around a coal forge, anvil and one Little Giant 50 lb power hammer. Pete will be teaching a couple of classes this year, a hammer rack class at Wasatch Forge in Salt Lake City, Utah and possibly a class at the Center for Metal Arts in NY. Guest Links Pete’s Website - http://www.phyreforge.com/ Instagram - @phyreforge A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – SOFA Quad State Round Up, www.sofablacksmiths.org
27 Aug 2017
Episode #123 – Michael Budd
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 Website - https://www.annarkoplik.com/ Instagram @michaeljbudd
26 Nov 2018
Ep #112 Evan Wilson "Acrobatics around the Anvil"
Guest Intro paragraph This week I’ve got Evan Wilson from Austin, Texas who is the program director for the blacksmith shop at this nonprofit community organization called Mobile Loaves and Fishes. The Community Forge & Woodshop empowers their community of homeless members to engage in the creation of timeless crafts while also earning a dignified income. Through blacksmithing, woodworking and a range of other projects, the men and women in this Community Works program become part of a restorative journey toward social contribution, financial stability and a mastery of handcrafting skills. Their craftsmen and artists receive 100% of the profit from the sale of their products, enabling them to become more settled and experience greater stability in Community First! Village. They also encounter a greater sense of purpose, healing, and friendships — foundational components of life that every person needs and deserves. What We Talked About Evan talks about his experience being a striker for Claudio Bottero at the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association in October 2017, “like drinking from a fire hose”. Mobile Loaves and Fishes is a nonprofit organization in Austin that started 19 years ago, they help feed and cloth the homeless population. The organization decided to build their own RV park to house the homeless and start a community centered program on 27 acres with 250 housing units. Within the community they have programs for the members to attend and learn form such as: animal husbandry, ceramics, glass blowing, leatherwork, painting, woodworking and blacksmithing. These programs provide a way to learn how to earn a dignified income, alternative economy. The community has a market and gift shop where they sell the wares of the members. Evan talks about his nonprofit background and how he worked for one in Afghanistan teaching English and helping with a Maternal and Infant Mortality program. He mentions his “Metal Mother” Dawn Raines (the Welding and Blacksmith director at Austin Community College) who taught him a lot in the beginning of his blacksmithing venture. Haley Woodward is another mentor he mentions who took him under his wing and helped a tremendous amount in building the community blacksmith program at Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Evan has now taken the reins of organizing the Austin Forging Competition that started in 2010. It used to be held at the Austin Forging Authority (Haley Woodward and Colby Brinkman’s Shop) and in 2015 Evan mentioned they should hold it at the community Works workshop. Guest Links Mobile Loaves and Fishes community Works Program link - - https://mlf.org/community-works/ Instagram: @mobileloaves_communityforge If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
4 Dec 2017
Episode #83– Toby Druce “Mid-life Career Change to Blacksmithing”
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 Fleming College Artist blacksmith program - http://flemingcollege.ca/programs/artist-blacksmith/courses 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: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
12 Sep 2016
Ep #93 Brian Brazeal “Bringing Blacksmithing to an African School”
Today is episode #93 and I have Brian Brazeal who has been blacksmithing for over 36 years and has dedicated most of his career to teaching the craft here in the US and around the world. Soon he will be going to Africa with his brother Ed to start a blacksmith program at a school in Kenya, he talks all about this in the interview. Now I’d like to thank our sponsor for today’s episode, ABANA. The Artist Blacksmith Association of North America, AKA ABANA is a non-profit organization that began in 1973 to perpetuate the noble art of blacksmithing. ABANA encourages and facilitates the training of blacksmiths and exposes the art of blacksmithing to the public. Head on over to the website, www.abana.org , where you can learn about their membership benefits and sign up to be added to their mailing list, which is the best way to learn about affiliate and regional events and other blacksmithing announcements. Thank you ABANA! What We Talked About Brian’s introduction to blacksmithing was through becoming a farrier at first, learning from his father, though that wasn’t his first choice of careers. Brian was on the Olympic Judo Training team after high school with big aspirations of furthering his Olympic future until he had a neck injury that ended his Judo training. Around the age of 30 Brian started to make the transition from being a Farrier to an Artist Blacksmith, while he was living in California. He worked at the Mission San Juan in Capistrano California for five years, the Mission is the oldest smelting of ore to make metal in the history of California. To read about the history of the Mission blacksmiths and smelting go to this website, http://factcards.califa.org/mli/blacksmith.html In 2002 Brian started to travel the country and internationally. He worked with Tom Clarke in Missouri and then traveled to Europe to work with Alfred Habermann for a year and a half. Brian has plans to travel to Africa and teach blacksmithing at a school for orphans. Brian and his brother Ed created a traveling blacksmith station, complete with anvil, tongs, hand tools and hammers. 5 of the stations are packed up and ready to go to the African school. Guest Links Brian’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/brianbrazealblacksmith A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA, www.abana.org If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
2 Jan 2017
Ep 97 JayBurn Journal on Punches, Drifts and Top tools
It’s episode #97 and I’ve got another JayBurn Journal for you. A technical article written by Jay Burnham-Kidwell. He’s a longtime blacksmith residing in Arizona, Since 1974, he has worked in various mediums and exhibited his work throughout the world. He works as a studio artist, lecturer, and demonstrator in all kinds of metalsmithing including jewelry, copper hollow forms, and blacksmithing. He’s written more than 40 technical articles for various magazines such as the Anvils Ring and Anvil Magazine. So a JayBurn Journal titled “Punches, Drifts, Hammers and Top tools”. Show Notes: To produce a tool of quality the smith should use tool or alloy steels. Tool steels can be bought new or as a drop or discontinued stock or as “road kill” recycled steel scraps. The average blacksmith shop has adequate resources to forge, normalize, anneal and heat treat many tool steels safely and most available tools steels can be forged and heat treated by using modified methods of the manufacturers recommended procedures. Steel is a body-centered cubic crystal at room temperature. When heated to critical temperature, iron and steel undergo a phase change and become a face-centered cubic crystal structure. The hardening process changes the internal structure of the steel to form austenite. When quenched, the austenite is transformed into martensite, the hardest constituent in steel. Most tool steels generally trade one quality for another: wear resistance vs. toughness and accuracy vs. red hardness. Wear resistance is preferable when the tool must hold an edge or stand up to continued service. Toughness is needed for tools that are used under stress that may cause breakage. Accuracy addresses machining after forging and the ability to retain shape after heat treating. Red Hardness is the ability to retain shape and hardness when used at high temperatures (punching, chiseling, drifting). Normalizing – most, but not all, tool and alloy steels are normalized after forging by air cooling to remove most of the stress introduced by the forging process. Annealing – heating to critical temperature (nonmagnetic) and slowly cooling will restore varying degrees of softness in tools steels. This requires burying the steel in wood ash, lime, dry dirt or sand. You can use vermiculite, but know that you should wear a respirator because it contains asbestos. Machining – Most, if not all, tools require some grinding, filing or sanding after forging and before heat treating, as annealed steel is in a softer state and is obviously easier to grind or sand. Hardening – tool steels are heated to a specified critical temperature and quenched in the correct medium for optimum hardening. Tools steels are usually classified as air, water or oil hardening. Air hardening is accomplished by heating to critical temperature and cooling in still air. Water hardening is usually done in a 5 – 10% brine solution. Oil hardening is accomplished in commercial heat treating oils or vegetable oils. Tempering – hardening will produce maximum hardness and must be softened or tempered because the steel is too brittle at this point. The tool should be tempered as soon as possible after hardening. Tempering temperatures usually run between 300 – 600 f. W-1 tool steel – a straight carbon, water hardening tool steel that tends to chip or break. Old files were made from W-1 O -1 tool steel – a straight carbon, oil hardening steel classified for coldwork, chasing and repousse. S series tool steel – very tough and exhibit very good red hardness. Due to varying amounts of tungsten and chromium, it can be a bit tough to forge. 4140 – a chromium molybdenum alloy steel that has great toughness, resists torque and can be used as punches, hammers and top tools. 4340 tool steel – a close relative to 4140 but with some added nickel. NEVER quench or cool in water, use only oil. If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
13 Feb 2017
Episode #86 – Toby Druce “Mid-life Career Change to Blacksmithing Part 2”
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 Fleming College Artist blacksmith program - http://flemingcollege.ca/programs/artist-blacksmith/courses 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: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
10 Oct 2016
Episode #70 – Heiner Zimmerman “The Blacksmith Craft - Contained Knowledge Over Generations”
Heiner Zimmermann is a second generation German blacksmith. Hisfather, Paul Zimmermann, had his works published and thusinfluenced American and European blacksmiths throughout the 70'sand 80's. It was through working with his father and uncle thatHeiner had the unique opportunity to meet and work with leadingsmiths around the world including Hermann Gradinger of Germany,Olaf Punt of Norway, Alfred Habermann of the Czech Republic, AllenEvans of England, and Jeffrey Funk of the USA. He completed his academic studies with a Master’s Degree in artand did additional studies in welding and restoration. Hisknowledge and skill led to a professorship at University GothenburgSweden which, like Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is oneof only a few colleges in the world to offer advanced art degreeswith a focus on blacksmithing. What We Talked About Heiner shares that his childhood was always filled with asupportive artistic environment. He spent a lot of time in hisfather’s forge and had the opportunity to forge his own first pieceat the age of 12, it was a sword. By the age of 16 Heiner was already working in the forgeassisting with forging, striking and installations. Around that ageyou needed to choose your career path and blacksmithing was, atfirst, not Heiner’s first choice. Though, after thinkingabout it some more, he chose to become a blacksmith and waseducated by his father for 3 ½ years. Heiner learned his first business lesson at a blacksmithconference when Dick Quinnell offered to buy Heiner’s candle holderfrom the gallery. Heiner sold it to him for a paltry price, thenDick Quinnell said “OK, I will now take it home and sell it fortwice the price, so now I have taught you a business lesson”. Through the 1990’s Heiner received a few grants to be able tofurther his education by apprenticing with other blacksmiths aroundthe world. The most important lesson he learned through his travelswas that the world became smaller to him which made him focus onthe similarities that the blacksmiths share, things that unitethem, not the things that divide them. This revelation worksit way into Heiner's artwork. Heiner has a lot of thoughts on the blacksmith craft and whereit’s going in the 21st He will address his thoughts and ideas atthe ABANA 2016 conference during his lecture. He will talkabout what a blacksmith’s role is in today’s world, what theyrepresent and how does society view blacksmithstoday. The blacksmith craft started centuries ago from people takingrisks with innovation such as punching holes in hot iron and forgewelding. These techniques have been handed down over generationsand Heiner feels a great responsibility to preserve the craft andkeep it alive. His contributions to preserving the craft arebeing open minded to trying new things, taking risks, creating newcontemporary techniques, pushing the boundaries. When ABANA approached Heiner to give a lecture at this year’s“Education” themed conference, Heiner had an idea to includeleaders from the three most prominent higher education institutionsthat offer a blacksmith program, Southern Illinois University,Hereford College of the Arts and University of Gothenburg. ABANAagreed to include Rick Smith from SIU and Delyth Done from Herefordto join Heiner in lecturing on higher education and intentions andpractice in the craft. They will also hold a “critique talk”panel discussion where they will critique pieces made fromattendees. Heiner talks about how to be a successful blacksmith today inbusiness terms. Competing with manufacturing will not work intoday’s world, so selling the process and the story behind thepiece will work. He discusses the difference betweenfunctional design and sculptural design, the intention, the processand how we communicate as artists. The metal art program where Heiner teaches (Craft and Design atSteneby, University of Gothenburg) their first-year students totake risks, experiment and develop an artistic language forthemselves. Then they move onto the business part of things,marketing, curating and exhibiting. Guest Links Heiner’s website - heinerzimmermann.de The University of Gothenburg at Steneby - http://www.hdk.gu.se/en/programmes-courses/crafts-and-design-steneby A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016Conference, http://www.abana.org/Conferences/2016/index.html If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if youwould support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttonsbelow. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and reviewin iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow thesesimple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr
2 May 2016
Ep 107 Allen Rozon " A Blacksmith and a Swordsmith Collaborate"
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 Iron Den website - https://ironden.ca/ Iron Den’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/IronDenForge/?hc_ref=ARRnymP7N7Zh9zgp7cTEMGHfzFsQxVdyLaep0CUm9pQx-kC0O8mwXtxIQSz4mdO-PTI&fref=nf Les Forges de Montreal website - https://www.lesforgesdemontreal.org/ Facebook page for Les Forges de Montreal - https://www.facebook.com/lesforgesdemontreal/ If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
14 Aug 2017
Ep 117 Michael Whipps "New Metal Podcast"
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 email@example.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 Whipps Designs website - whippsdesigns.com.au Podcast website – metalsculptureshow.com Instagram - @metalsculptureshow And on Facebook If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
20 Feb 2018
Ep 116 Haley Woodward and Colby Brinkman
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 Ernst Heinrich Haeckel “Art Forms in Nature” book on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Forms-Nature-Dover-Pictorial-Archive/dp/0486229874/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0486229874&pd_rd_r=01ZJJZGQ0DTFXCPY9ADB&pd_rd_w=IOZy7&pd_rd_wg=TCpO3&psc=1&refRID=01ZJJZGQ0DTFXCPY9ADB Colby Brinkman Website – metalmantis.com Haley Woodward Website – haleywoodward.com The Devil’s Blacksmith Documentary -- https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-devil-s-blacksmith-documentary-arts--2#/
12 Feb 2018
Ep #105 – Joseph Campbell “ Metal Collaborative Studio”
Joseph Campbell is an architectural metal fabricator who owns Metal Inc and the Metal Collaborative Studio in Philadelphia, PA. You’ll hear Joe talk about the Metal Collaborative membership, it’s like a gym membership but to a metal studio outfitted with welding and blacksmithing equipment. It’s an interesting business model that I wish would grow, giving competent blacksmiths or metal workers a place to be creative and collaborate with each other. He mentions what membership access gives you and how much it costs. Joe also talks about his own private and public commissions he has been getting through his metal working business. But first I want to thank our sponsor today and that’s Bob Menard of the Ball and Chain Forge in Portland, Maine. He’s been making a tool that allows a blacksmith to increase the weight of their anvil by 30lbs and to make tools without the need for a large swage block with pass through holes, it’s the BCF Anvil Block and he’s been making them for 5 years in his forge in Maine. It is a 30lb block of cast iron that has 2 square holes passing through, 1" and 1 3/8". The size is 3 1/2" wide x 6 1/2" long x 4" high, so it fits on top of the anvil face and firmly secures to any anvil size with a top bracket and chains. The current price is $200 including shipping in the continental US. For more information contact Bob through email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks Bob Menard and Ball and Chain Forge! What We Talked About Joe talks about how his architectural metal business helps pays the bills for the Metal Collaborative studio membership. Also, how the collaborative nature of the studio lends its creativity to the architectural side of the business too. Joe, Ann Klicka, Nick Eyre’s started a collaborative blacksmith community from a local prolific Artist blacksmith, Bob Phillips, after Phillip’s passing away about 4 years ago. Most of the group disbanded and Joe wanted to continue his metal working business and the collaborative metal studio concept. Currently, there are about 6 members of the Collaborative studio. As of this recording, their rates for membership are varied: $400/month for full-time access and storage, part-time access and smaller storage space is $200/mo, and a day rate of $75. Residing in Philadelphia has its perks as a metal worker, such as seeing original works forged by Samuel Yellin. Joe has been inspired by some of Yellin’s work and techniques, he submitted a design for a public city bike rack and incorporated one of Yellin’s “lattice” slit and drift design aspects. The bike rack design was accepted by the City and he has yet to make it. Joe talks about insurance coverages and suggests that artists look through ABANA and NOMMA Guest Links Metal Inc website - http://www.metalincorporated.com/about-the-metal-collaborative/ A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Bob Menard of the Ball and Chain Forge, http://www.ballandchainforge.com/tooling_1?_rdr
19 Jun 2017
Ep 94 JayBurn Journal "Pattern Forge Welding"
Hey there, it’s Vic, welcome to the show and thank you for tuning in this week, you guys! It’s episode #94 and this year I’ve decided to read some technical articles written by Jay Burnham-Kidwell. A resident of Arizona, Jay is the owner of Metal Design and Restoration. Since 1974, he has worked in various mediums and exhibited his work throughout the world. He works as a studio artist, lecturer, and demonstrator in all kinds of metalsmithing including jewelry, copper hollow forms, and blacksmithing. I met Jay at the ABANA conference last summer in Salt Lake City Utah and we hit it off right away as if we’d known each other for a long time, I think that’s how Jay is with everyone. He mentioned he had more than 40 articles that he had written for various magazines such as the Anvils Ring and Anvil Magazine, and he would be happy to share them with me so I could share them with you on the podcast. I’m going to call these technical podcasts “The JayBurn Journals” and I’ll sprinkle them throughout the year. So today is episode #94 and it’s a JayBurn Journal titled “Pattern Forge Welding”. I picked this particular article because “JayBurn” will be teaching a Damascus workshop at Adam’s Forge in LA California January 21 & 22. You can find more info on the www.adamsforge.org website. Show Notes: Pattern forge welding, aka “Damascus Steel” is an offshoot of the traditional forge welding of the blacksmith craft. The original material was known as “Wootz”. The result of the “Wootz” process was a weapon grade steel of good flexibility and edge holding capability. Austenite is an alloy of iron and carbon is part of a crystallization process that occurs in the Wootz process of cooling. Materials used: Wrought Iron – almost pure iron, easily welded with a high phosphorous content L-6 – a low alloy, chrome-nickel steel used in large saw blades, exhibits good forge welds to other metals 15N20 – a medium carbon steel that produces a high contract with other steels due to its high nickel content 1095 – a high carbon steel frequently used on tools and applications in industry 4140 – a low carbon chromium-vanadium alloy of toughness, used for hammer dies, punches and car axles W-2 – a high carbon steel commonly used in toolmaking, particularly in files. A-36 – An alloy steel that has replaced 1010, 1018, and 1020 mild steels, the catchall of modern steel production. 5160 – This steel is touch and springy, low chromium-silicon steel that can be readily forge welded and heat treated. Steel Cable – great resource for Damascus patterns, make sure it is clean and not plated. Four grades are Base Plow Steel (1084), Improved Plow Steel (1070), Extra Improved Plowshare Steel (1084), and Extra Extra Improved Plowshare Steel (1095). The last two digit give the carbon content, the “10” signifies a simple carbon steel of iron, carbon, and a bit of manganese with trace elements of phosphorous and sulfur. Nickel – will readily forge weld to ferrous metals but not to itself. Retains its brilliant whiteness. “Road Kill” – chain, guns, horseshoes, old files, chisels, ball bearings ect. Avoid all plated and galvanized metals. Preparation of the stack is important in the welding process. All layers should be close in thickness, clean and as tight as possible. Put the higher welding metals on the outside of the stack. Welding should be done in 3 to 6 seconds and in few as heats as possible, this will lessen the amount of overheating, burning, carbon migration and oxidation of the materials. Cutting edge Damascus tools need to be 125 or more layers. It is possible to lose 15% - 40% of the original mass in the forging process. There are two etching mordent categories: acid or alkaline. If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
9 Jan 2017
Episode #65–Douglas Pryor "If you're not crackin' steel, you're not learnin'"
Douglas Pryor Guest Intro: Douglas Pryor lives in Rockland, California and works as a repousse artist, primarily making armor. When possible, he uses only hand tools to mimic the authentic conditions of ancient time periods. His main techniques are sculpting, raising, chasing and repousse. Douglas also moonlights as a parkour instructor. He’s been selected as one of the demonstrators for this year’s ABANA Conference in Salt Lake City. What we talked about: Douglas got into armor making because he liked roughhousing as a kid, but found it could be painful. Instead of stopping the activity, he fashioned suits of protection out of gutter sheet metal and catcher helmets. That ultimately led him to look deeper into the topic of armor and he began taking metalworking courses. He went to college for a welding program and was immediately hooked on metalwork. “I knew I wanted to work with metal as I continued to kind of fall in love with the elasticity and how much shape and three-dimensional form you can get into it. It captivated me.” He says he owes much of his success to amazing instructors at Sierra College and access to a lot of good information early in his studies. But it turned out welding was not his passion. “The deeper I got, the more I wanted to NOT weld. The more proficient I got at modern techniques, the more interested I got in traditional techniques.” He began to explore how these arts were performed in the past. Douglas works mostly with 10-12 gauge steel because many of his pieces must be able to hold up to full contact sports. He almost exclusively uses hand hammers and tooling versus pneumatic tools to make the process more historically authentic. Douglas says that he’s able to make a decent living in this line of work selling armor pieces. He mostly works on commissioned items and he usually has up to eight people in cue for projects from all over the world. He estimates he works 40-60 hours per week on these projects. As a side job, Douglas works as an instructor at a parkour gym he helped build. He loves the physical aspect of dynamic human movement and enjoys working with people in a completely different way than he can when doing metalwork. He says it offers him an equally important, but very different perspective. For pricing, Douglas says he has an hourly and a daily rate, but he ultimately charges what a piece is worth. He’s says that open communication and being very transparent with his clients is important. As part of the construction process, Douglas says it can be extremely personal, with people sometimes sending him full body casts for custom work. He describes it as very labor intensive, hence the cost. “You can cut corners with machines, but part of my discipline and part of my practice is doing it traditionally. There’s a lot of appreciation for hand-made goods. I can’t say thank you enough to the people who support me,” he says. With such a unique skill set, Douglas has considered working for Hollywood, but instead prefers the slower paced work he gets with private collectors. He likes time to do research and become engrossed in the project instead of trying to turn out pieces quickly. Douglas says he has done work on some video game projects. So how long does it take to make these pieces? Douglas says it varies wildly depending on the project. He said it could take weeks or even years. As an example, he recently made an Octopus Helmet for a client in Australia. The helmet was forged out of a single plate of steel and has three very unique interchangeable visors. That project took 12 months and he had a documentary film crew following the process. Douglas is starting to offer some workshops and recently did a practice run with instructors from the college he attended. He also offered a free workshop for about 7-8 students. He plans to do another one in Arizona this October. At this summer’s ABANA conference, Douglas is going to be doing a 3-part demonstration on face sculpture. He says he will only have 9 hours to work on a piece that would normally take him more than 20 hours. He will start with hot raising to raise the form into a conical shape. Later, he will do some forging, but most of the process is cold work. He will get into smaller and sharper tools near the end of the project. If Douglas could meet any metalworker, dead or alive, who would it be? Douglas has a huge interest in early Scandinavian helmets and heard of an old ship burial ground possibly in Sweden where pre-Viking helmets were found. He’d like to travel back in time and learn the history and artistry of these helmets. He’s also interested in a mine in the Alps where pre-iron age jade hand axes were found. Since there was no written language at the time, he’d like to learn more about those. Guest Links: Web: www.douglaspryor.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI453XqGzuSDOziqkyB3MXQ Instagram: instagram.com/douglas_pryor YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/user/ParkourWithDouglas/feed Gargoyle practice video https://youtu.be/bwjS7PZ5c6w Skeleton breastplate video https://youtu.be/CPeGAe0kY4k 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: telling your friends. sharing this episode using the social sharing buttons below. subscribing to the show and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. Not sure how? Just follow these simple steps here or watch the short video tutorial, http://youtu.be/rq4OCyRGjHc?list=UUH3MfNZLXlKgionAs6kMT_Q subscribing to the show in Stitcher, http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=54499&refid=stpr Thanks so much for your support!
28 Mar 2016