I decided to build my own small forge and began making my own blacksmithing tools and experimenting with different types of metal and different fire temperatures. I used steel that I purchased from local steel yards, car parts, and scraps I found in junkyards. I learned how to heat steel to the right temperature so I could forge them into tools and other objects and later I learned how to combine different metals to make Damascus steel. There was no one around that could teach me so I taught myself by reading books, watching internet videos, and making many, many mistakes. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with all of this and I knew I wanted to become a blacksmith. I soon outgrew my little forge so my parents had a small building constructed on our property in West Virginia and I built a much larger forge that I continued to modify as my work increased. I began selling my creations at local art shows and fairs. My skills and interests continued to grow as I made more varieties of knives, fireplace tools, decorative ironworks, hardware, hanging pot racks, and furniture. I also began fulfilling custom orders. Recently I was featured in West Virginia South, a popular West Virginia magazine.
I have chosen to make blacksmithing my life’s work. I am committed to doing everything I can to help the ongoing effort to bring back the amazing art of blacksmithing and keep this vital part of our American history alive.