I began in the early 80's with an anvil I bought from my uncle Alvin Fletcher. I had hoped it was my Grandpa Fletcher's, that I remembered as child. Turns out Alvin had bought it at an Auction. A 158 lb Peter Wright that remains the same as the day I bought it. The old hammer marks on the face give anything made on it, a texture that could be only be described as its own fingerprint.
I recently took the mobile shop to our Fletcher family reunion and made some trinkets for the relatives. Alvin's wife, Sandy daughter Amy, husband John and only son Brandon were happy to have something made on Alvin's anvil. I told them, "I am not sure the anvil was sentimental to uncle Alvin, but it was surely special to me." I expect this long ago transaction was news to them andto tell the story brought a tear to all of us.
178 pound Peter Wright Anvil: Neighbor boys Eric Cutter and Brian Vogel following a county road grader, found a 178 pound Peter Wright pealed out of the road ditch. I traded them a flintlock rifle for the anvil. I surmised that the anvil may have been used as weight on a disc and lost in the move from field to field. John Cummins when I told him of my theory, said he found a disc grown up with Horse Weeds and there was an anvil on it being used for weight. Could happen. I made some repairs to the striking face and ground it smooth. Since it was bigger, I put it on the block and have used it these many years in the barn shop.
My friend Mike Fischer, gave me a rough anvil and I let it lay in the gangway of the barn for a year before starting to clean it up. As the marks revealed themselves I came to understand that I was looking at a 170 year old Henry Armitage Mouse Hole Anvil. I fixed the face and cleaned up the edges. I delivered it to our daughter Jenna in Austin Texas. She lives close to a Pioneer Farm and has begun Blacksmithing lessons.
Note the repaired Mouse Hole anvil: This is typical of a break that could occur with the Mouse Hole as the tail, horn and feet were welded on vertically. The repair is classic and an interesting condition. Peter Wrights were 2 piece welded at the waist horizontally. this was a major innovation in the manufacture of anvils and Peter Wright anvils pretty much took over in the second half of the 1800s in popularity.
200 pound 1891 Fisher and 158 pound Peter Wright
200 pound Fisher Eagle cleaned up for my brother's wife. Margo Johnson. It belonged to her Dad.
The Peter Wright was purchased from my Uncle Alvin Fletcher about 1980. The good marks made it a natural for the demonstration mobile shop. I highlighted the marks in gold. It will start a conversation about what the marks mean almost every time.
Henry Armitage Mouse Hole
Marks reveal themselves and aid in aging the anvil. As time passes the marks at the top change depending on who is running the company. Owner's change, people die and to reflect the changes the marks change. The Armitage family and Henry in particular (Found remnants of an R) puts this anvil between1833 - 1850 after brother Morgan died. M&H before and after this nearly 20 year span. After 1850 the descendants returned to M&H but added Forge under the Mouse Hole stamp. This comes from Richard A Postman's book called Mouse Hole Forge.
1 * 1 * 1 Is the English way to size the anvil.
First 1 is 100 Weight which is 8 Stone that weigh about 14 pounds so the First 1 is 112 pounds. Second 1 is 1/4 hundred weight which is 28 pounds and the last number is the individual pounds. (Second number is always only a 1 (28 lbs), 2 (56lbs) or a 3 (3/4 of a hundred weight 84 pounds) 112+28+1= 141 pound Mouse hole anvil.
Dressed Mouse Hole
1835 - 1854: HENRY ARMITAGE MOUSEHOLE
The top plate was rolled over and a big chunk missing. Horn was in excellent condition. filled with weld and ground to shape to return it to usable condition. Daughter Jenna had expressed interest in blacksmithing at her new home in Texas. We took it with some of her personal belongings for her new house near Austin, at Thanksgiving 2015. I thought it interesting that the Mouse Hole anvil was as old as the state of Texas.
Repaired M&H Armitage
John Cummins' repaired M&H Armitage Mouse Hole 1820-1835
This could be narrowed down to 1830 to 1835 due to the presence of the pritchel which are not known to exist before about 1830.
Jenna's Mouse Hole anvil in Austin Texas 2015
GJ Racing Anvil
I have mounted my original 158 pound Peter Wright anvil on the mobile blacksmith shop. I am traveling festivals this year in honor of the Indiana Bicentennial which winds to Versailles Indiana at Noon on September 17, 2016.
I have been invited to Hamilton Ohio for Operation Pumpkin and will be demonstrating October 7,8 & 9th near Third and Main Street.
I have developed some Iron Jewelry that I can demonstrate and will serve as a remembrance of the occasion. Troll Cross will ward off Trolls and All Manner of Evil.
Pioneer Farm Blacksmith Shop in Austin Texas
Jenna has begun lessons at the Pioneer Farm near her home in Austin Texas. At the far left there is an almost perfect Hay Buden anvil that was made for a carriage shop but never used. It was donated to the Pioneer Farm and now has a loving home.
JNJ Coal Rake
JNJ twist and Loop Handle
Anvils for Sale
Collection at Quad State at Miami County fairgrounds in central Ohio. This gathering is one of the largest blacksmith events.
Quadstate 2016 is put on by Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil on September 23-25th. Featuring blacksmiths from South Africa, Ireland and Baveria. There is plenty of rusty stuff for sale.
I have been studying some ancient symbols that are represented as iron jewelry. I hope to have a collection to show in my mobile blacksmith shop. This came out of a desire to be able to show the functions of the blacksmith in a few minutes. Turns out I learn something new every day.
Fashioned with fire and a hammer these pieces are reminiscent of time when charms and amulets were worn to ward off maleficent magic. As we think about it other symbols that lend themselves to creation by hammer blows, will be added to the collection. The adornments are Venician Trade Beads add some beauty to the art.
Scandinavians believed that Iron and Iron crossing were protection from Trolls, Elves and All Manner of Evil.
This group of three went to Texas for Lonestar Rollergirl Co-Captain of the Cherry Bombs, Milla Juke-a-B*tch (our daughter Jenna Johnson), Her teammate Rocky Casbah and Team Manager Jon E Bravo.
Ancient Symbol of Gaea who was the mother of the Titans and all Humans according to the Greeks.
My Friend Ben
In May of 2016 I set up at the Versailles Farmer's Market and I met Ben. He related that he sometimes had Troll Problems. I made the first Troll Cross for him and it was Just in Time.
The “troll cross” is an amulet made of a circle of iron crossed at the bottom, a charm worn by early Scandinavian peoples as a protection against trolls and elves. Iron and crosses were both believed to ward off evil creatures.
In the cool part of the day.
Diana's oldest brother is Gary Landwehr. Yesterday he married off his youngest son Tyler. Tyler's and Brechelle's Wedding on September 3, 2016, happens to be Diana and my 45th Wedding anniversary. Today the 4th, is Tyler's next older brother's (Eric) 6th anniversary. We sure know how to screw up a Labor Day weekend. For the occasion Oldest Brother Andrew and wife Martha are in from San Antonio, Texas for the wedding.
I made troll crosses for Andy and Martha and also one for Tyler. The new bride was a Sutton and I had previously made for her an S as a necklace. On her first full day as a Landwehr she will get an L to welcome her to the family. The Landwehr boys will be ready to fend off All Manner of Evil.
Versailles Pumpkin Show Display
Won 1st place in the handmade jewelry category, 9/22/16
Lynn Belhumeur Christmas at home
Lynn was a Co-op for SHP for the fall quarter of 2016 as a student of Architecture at Miami University in Oxford Ohio. She worked with me at Kramer Elementary in Oxford and the Fairfield City School District in Fairfield Ohio. She was an early recipient of a Troll Cross. In this photo she is headed home for Christmas to the island of Maritius off the coast of Madigascar.
With this event, Mauritius becomes the most far flung location of the Troll Cross. She joins the Netherlands, Jersey Isle off the coast of France and Hawaii as exotic places the Cross now calls home.
G Johnson Shop
GJ's shop is reminiscent of typical farm shop in the corner of the shed. It served as a way keep equipment going, making camping gear and the occasional artistic creation. I have become the go to fork and spatula maker for barbecue sets. I call them "A Grills Best Friend".
Fire Strikers, Lid Lifters, Spits and Tripods have found their way into the world from this little shop. I have been very proud of the numerous Wedding and House Warming presents, that are much appreciated. A gift that is durable, attractive and a little piece of myself to help start a young couple on their way is a joyful feeling.
I honestly don't believe I can make sausage gravy in a dutch oven with out the use of hand forged iron fork.
A collection of iron work from the shop
One of the first things I can point to as a smithed item is the trigger guard on my 62 caliber Southern Mountain Rifle. Circa "1983"
Thistle pattern of my own design.
A house warming gift for Jenna in Austin Texas
I made the spatula with attachment in the shape of Texas in honor of her new life in the Lone Star State.
Cook set up close
Preparing to give an iron fork a decorative twist.
Hooks and spatula with Thistle motief.
GJ Touch Mark shows the maker
GJ branding iron to mark the wood stuff
A bevy of Strikers
A double loop striker at critical heat
Making char in the forge.
Carrie with her nest
Looking forward to starting her first fire with Flint and Steel
At Women of the Woods Event, Anne and Teresa ready to make fire
I always tell my first timers that "to build a fire with flint and steel, will change your life". It is a momentousoccasion.
Turkey Foot Lid Lifter
So it began out of a need for period correct equiment
Moran's Raiders came to Versailles Indiana
While I had no official part of this re-enactment, I did show up in Union dress to harass the Raiders. I called them Rebel Trash and they threatened me with a pistol and flogged me with their hats.
After they had their fun they tied me to a rail
As with the actual raid, Morgans men had no time for prisoners and paroled me with my promise I would not act out against them.
Nick Weisbrod happy with his new poker.
From a piece of scrap 1/2 inch square stock that was originally a strut on some structure for the monument sign in the front of Central Elementary in Fairfield Ohio.
As with every hobbyist blacksmith there comes a time to make a blade. My friend John remarked that we were due to get together and create a knife. "It may as well be Damascus", he said. John showed me several welding patterns and I landed on Ladder Pattern. Over a Thanksgiving holiday weekend John made a billet and I made on like it. I welded it together as he instructed me and I drew it out, folded it and welded it again. The third time made original stack of 25 pieces of File, Banding and Saw Blades into 100 layers.
G J Damascus Knife
Material Stack of 25
Combination of Files, High Strength Banding and Saw blades.
I had a smaller knife of this style and wanted a larger Rifleman's Knife in the same shape.
100 pound Little Giant
Helps make Forge welder out all of us.
Cut the Billit almost in half
Fold it over and weld again, doubles the layers
Grind the ladder pattern
Next step is to flatten this and remove metal to expose the layers inside.
Shaping the knife
Shape of things to come
Hardening the blade.
An heirloom for sure.
Dog House Forge
My good friend John Cummins has made a shop at his home that is the envy of many. Many times I drive out his way and if there smoke coming out of the flue, I know I am welcome. We have shot flintlocks together, helped re-introduce Wild Turkeys to Southeast Indiana and have been know to collaborate over some hot iron.
John is a true artist and I deserve to be in his company, only because of our long standing friendship. John becomes expert at anything that draws his attention. His work is excellent and his creations are cherished by those who acquire them.
A recent fireplace set looks like it belongs in a Castle. I will introduce you to my friend John. JC is his mark
Dog House Forge
John's shop is a place where you can stop by and see the latest project or plans for the next.
If the smoke rolls then John is there working and is a good host, ready with a smile and a Come on In.
Little Giant 100 pound Power Hammer
One of the guys on John's Power Hammer
Belt Knife made of Chainsaw Chain
JC/GJ joint effort on Axe Head
Need to get a handle in that
Mutual Friend Jim Watts
Poker and Shovel set
Donated to Old Timbers Lodge
After all the restoration work, John also built this fireplace set for the Old Timbers Lodge.
Swage Block at the Dog House Forge
Candle holder of horse shoes and Star Hook
The copper star was a project for about 40 Boy Scouts on an afternoon Metal Working class.
Thankfully we got through the sheet metal cutting, peening and forging of forty projects and no one cut or burned.
John demonstrating for the Scouts.
John on my mobile shop at the FARM Show
We demonstrated some of the old ways in the midst of Threshing Machines, Saw Mill, Steam Engine and numerous One Lung Engines. We could hear the truck and tractor pulls and missed the parade of old tractors through Osgood. June 2016
We were there to demonstrate our trade and had to be satisfied with being part of the show. The young man is Reece Heffelmire, my grand nephew, who was our apprentice for the day.
Beautiful Stained Glass window
In of all places, the Out House behind the Dog House Forge. Another form of Functional Art.
Knives donated as prizes
Knife donated to our conservation club for fund raiser
Prize for Iron in the Hat
John Cummins held a Hammer In at the Doghouse Forge on December 9, 2017. Over 30 people attended on a brisk December morning. I fashioned a wall hook with a thistle finale to go in the prize drawing called Iron in the Hat.
Thistle Hook up close
Kenny Detmer picked it up
I had the opportunity to return to Old Timbers Lodge after many years. I had attended a 4-H function here and Diana my wife remembered camping there as a Girl Scout. In those days the lodge was part of the Jefferson Proving Grounds run by the US Government. Usually use of the building was arranged through one of the many people who worked there.
They had taken over 55,000 acres to use as a munitions testing facility about 1940. The Thomson's of Hamilton Ohio had built the lodge as a weekend getaway from their Champion Paper Company. It was not unusual for Industrialist to take some land in Indiana to get some piece and quiet. It seems that Ohio considered the Bob White Quail a song bird and could not be hunted there. In Indiana the Quail was a game bird and the hunting was good. The house was built in the height of the Great Depression by local people. it was made of of quarried rock from the area around and the wood was from timbers of 8 barns and mill that was not built due to the depression. It was nearly 10,000 square feet of rugged nostalgia. The Thomson's got to use it till 1940 and the Lodge is now in the capable hands of the Big Oaks Fish and Wildlife Area and Big Oaks Conservation Society. This group strives to restore it to its original glory.
Early photo of the Lodge
Old Timbers as it appears today.
It is nestled inside the Big Oaks Fish and Wildlife Area.
The Thomson Family
Early Photo of the Graham Creek side of Lodge.
Graham Creek patio
Timber Lintels over doors and windows
Stone Spiral Staircase to Second Floor
Timber Railing over the Great Room Below
Fireplace decorated for Chrismas
An Annual party for those who have been involved with or worked on the lodge over the past year.
Encouraging Words to a grand structure
Old Timbers Iron
I shared my photos of Old Timbers with my blacksmithing partner John Cummins. I told him of how the hardware came from a Berea College blacksmith in Kentucky. I knew of the current blacksmith and his name is Jeff Farmer. He teaches and produces product for the school's store. Berea is a center for hand crafted items. I met with Jeff Farmer and shared our photos with him. Berea College and we have a bit of common history. He related the information he knew about the original Berea Blacksmith.
John observed that several of the hinges and latches were missing as well as some the remaining were cobbled together to make them work. John said, "What do you thing about you and me recreating the missing hardware?" I proceeded to contact the proper people to offer our volunteer services. Of course they were happy to have someone to help make the building whole in this way. They had no idea of how they were going to accomplish this task and there were other pressing matters to keep Old Timbers going.
A door with all its original hardware.
Dozens of doors are fully intact.
A fine example of the intricate iron work typical of the Old Timbers Lodge. No two doors have hardware alike.
A Barrel Bolt
A heavy duty bolt latch is an example of they diversity of the hardware provided by the Berea Blacksmith in 1929.
Latch Plate looks like a Redbud Leaf
This is a very typical design used by blacksmiths to make their latches ornate.
This Door missing all of its iron hardware
Door missing top and bottom hinge
Since both were missing, we have no idea of how the original was decorated. We made tools to match the marks in the other hardware we could see. Used the same tools on this set, only of our own design. The final product simulates a Mythical Bird flying through a Sun Burst. That is what we saw from the outline of the missing hinge.
Tools to match original marks
For the upstairs bedroom with no idea of what the original looked like.
First hinge re-created
Using a photo of the bottom hinge we try to be true to the original design with our reproduction. We have to look at the original markings and use chisels, punches and hammers to achieve the marks and textures to copy the design.
John adorning a Old Timbers hinge with tooling
A leaf hinge in the raw in the shop
Leaf hinge ready to fulfil its destiny
Center hinge missing
Collection of hinges fresh out of the shop
Latch cobbled together to be useful, until we make the Repairs
Latch completley missing.
Only its original outline remains on the Oak door.
John with a couple of Owl Latches
A collection of latch plates and inside mechanism.
This Old Timbers project taught us a lot about latches and how they work. The one at the top right is not an Old Timbers latch. I would say it is a first cousin because it came to be at the same time using the same techniques. Please continue to see the story of this latch.
An offending piece of road junk
This piece of iron punctured and ruined a $400 truck tire. A cop picked it up and got it off the road, while I changed to a spare. While we were working on the Old Timbers latches, this piece of junk inspired me to take this sad story and prevail by making it work for me for all eternity. While this piece started out as homemade truck accessory taking crap off a wheel, it evolved into a object of Functional Art to be admired by all that enter the Cave Hill cabin.
The vision evolves
The top of the plate fashioned into a Maple leaf to represent the Maple Syrup Camp where the Cabin lives. Note the design was worked around the original holes of the mud flap bracket.
Back in the fire to fulfil its destiny
The bottom of the plate was shaped and tooled to resemble the tail of a Wild Turkey. The cabin is the point of beginning for many a Wild Turkey hunt using a Flintlock Smoothbore.
Latch plate in the raw.
Mounting holes yet to be drilled, but almost ready to go home.
Cabin Latch is finally home.
After a successful Wild Turkey Hunt I installed the special latch on the Cabin door. The cabin was built by family members in 1980. We had a store bought latch that had recently failed and became unusable. This latch while attractive, illustrates the mood and use of the cabin for all to see. Functional Art!!
Inside hardware of the Maple Leaf latch.
While the plate was made from the mud flap bracket, the other pieces came from another piece of scrap that had been patiently waiting to fulfill its ultimate destiny. You are only limited by what your mind can conceive and your hands can craft.
Creating Viking Shields
Micah, Jenna, and I have been watching History Channel's Vikings. Mom watches from the kitchen doorway as it is quite brutal. Interested in their Offensive and Defensive Arms, it seemed logical to re-create a shield that is rugged and beautiful in its own way.
Infatuated with the lead character, Lagertha, and her new symbolism, the choice was made for at least one shield.
Lagertha was one time wife of Ragnar Lothbrok. When she became Earl, she took on her own Clan identity.
The design for this shield is loosely based on a rune from the Scandinavian alphabet meaning ‘Wealth.’ Runes are very important in Viking history as they are some of the few well preserved remnants we have of their lives.
It was also inspired by the branches of tree, signifying strength, growth and family.
Lagertha and her shield design as Earl
Having already dipped into Scandinavian lore by recreating the Troll Cross and other ancient jewelry, it did not take much of a push to try a Viking Shield. Since Jenna skates Banked Track Roller Derby in Austin, Texas, she is already a female warrior at heart. When I saw Lagertha's new shield design, I knew what I wanted to emulate.
Sassafras...Strong, Light, looks like Oak
I have a store of Sassafras lumber that I utilize for projects such as boxes, shelves, and stools. Sassafras is light and strong and seemed a natural material for a shield. Even though it is lighter than Oak or Ash, it is still pretty heavy to hold and maneuver. You may have to be a Viking to heft it. Most recreations are made of 3/8" plywood and covered with cloth and painted. Since Vikings did not have plywood, I went with the plank style that is more appropriate.
Using a yardstick as a compass, I marked and cut out the glued and stabilized shields, into the handled defensive implements to be.
The overall diameter turned out to be about 34 inches, which according to my research was a common size. The hole in the middle is six inches in diameter. The center stave, while holding the assembly together, also serves as the handle. It is shaped into an hourglass for a good grip. The side battons add extra strength and stability to the shields.
For the Rugged Look
I painted the shield with a coat of flat black paint. I intended to apply the color in a sketchy manner to let some of the wood grain show through. It also highlighted the joints in the boards.
95% Coverage gives it that Look
Masking removed and getting a look at the intended design.
The Iron Boss
While cruising through the wood work, the Iron Boss has been troubling my thoughts. I had an iron ball that was the correct size but needed a concave swedge of some type to make the Boss. I am sure you could buy something stamped out, but I was concerned it would look like a dog bowl. It had to be forged to meet my vision. Since it was about 8 degrees outside, and my shop is not heated, I called my friend John, to borrow his shop. We own a ladle and shovel swedge together for several years now. I had never used it, and it seems to have presented itself to me as my solution. While it is not a perfect size, it got me close enough with the use of the iron ball to accomplish the two Boss I needed for the shields.
Out of the fire and with about a 6 inch depression and an overall diameter of 8 inches.
Pair of Boss
Not an exact science and after much effort, the two emerged from the forge. I deemed them acceptable. The hand forging of the Boss will add to the authenticity of the final project.
Finished Iron Boss
I cleaned them up and put on a coat of Protect-a-Clear as a finish. I have been using this on my raw iron projects for a year or so. It dries to a Satin finish and is Food Grade when dry, an outstanding finish for raw metal.
Hand Forged Nails
To complete the ancient look, the fasteners had to be hand forged. I had to make a nail header out of a high carbon railroad spike. I punched a square hole of about 1/8th inch. See the sequence of nail making.
Forged to size
Nail is forged to fit into header with a swell of metal left for the head. With the nail still attached to the stock, it can be broken off into the nail header.
Nail in Header
The header with nail over the Pritchel hole. While still hot, the head is flattened with a couple of blows. Then with hammer angled, the top is forged into a pyramid shape.
Removing nail from Header
Let it cool, and the nail will tap out.
Hand forged nail
Practice will get you closer to desired length and head diameter on the first try. They are made individually, and no two will be exactly alike. I think this variation adds to the overall interest and attractiveness of the piece.
Nails in the shield
I had to pilot hole the nails as they are made in a wedge and splitting is likely. Time to add the Boss also.
I forged hooks that hook around the handle and have a loop above the shield. With wall hooks fastened to the wall, shields can be hung as a piece of art, to be attractive and available if marauders approach.
With design modification, I could produce a hook that hangs the shield on the side of a ship or maybe a pick up truck.
I asked Micah what he wanted his shield to look like. I had looked at hundreds of designs and none struck me like Lagertha's Shield design. He texted me a photo of Vikings lined up for battle and decided on Light Blue, Dark Blue quadrants with trim that looked like the points of a Compass.
Light Blue / Dark Blue
A Fulfilling and Educational Project
This was an ambitious project with many steps and skills required. As most things I do, I want the project to be attractive, functional, and to have learned something along the way. These shields fulfilled that mission many times over. I read, researched, thought about it, and sometimes even had dreams.
It gave me a look into the culture and made me appreciate the daunting task of building arms a thousand years ago. They had to split and shape their wood with rudimentary tools, which they had to first make. Iron had to be mined and bloomed into a usable material to make the tools to create the accessories. My scrap pile of various iron shapes would have been equal to a gold mine
These were rugged, talented, and industrious peoples. At the same time, they were savage, violent, brutal, and had their own code of conduct that they lived and died by. While I can't condone raiding and taking whatever you want, you have to admire their ability to survive the conditions and the time period they were born into.
The Wheels on the Truck go Round and Round
Micah's traveled to Maryland. Jenna's shipped to Austin, Texas.
"A handmade gift is also a piece of yourself"
GJ at TXRD Season Opener
Jenna Johnson belongs to a tribe of female warriors in the form of Banked Track Texas Roller Derby. There are several of her acquaintances that portray the Viking lifestyle at an Austin area Ren Fair. I took the shield to the bout to draw attention to Cherry Bomb Team photos that were available.
Jon E Bravo admires shield.
All Scar Army vs Texas United Roller Derby 2017
All Scars in Black, struggle for position with the Texas United team, in Blue, in one of the many jams that make up a Bout. The jammer is the one with the star on her helmet, is trying to get past the pack to make another lap to score points on the second pass.
Modern Day Shield Maidens
Mobile Shop Demonstrations for Indiana Bicentennials
For the September 17, 2016 Bicentennial Torch Run I was asked to create a display for something "Heritage". I had enough equipment to build a blacksmith shop on a trailer for a Mobile Shop. I had it together in May so we took it to the Farmer's Market on the Courthouse Square. From there we were invited to the FARM Club Tractor Show at the Ripley County Fairgrounds. I took it you our Fletcher Family Reunion and any time we could get it out and demonstrate.
By the time the Torch Run came about, things were working pretty good. But Alas, it rained all morning and kind of made the blacksmith demo a Non Event.
We were invited to Operation Pumpkin in Hamilton Ohio in October. As 2017 rolled in the Mobile Shop repeated most of the events. These photos will give you a sense of what we did.
Cousins all get amulets of protection.
Moores Hill Bicentennial September 22, 2018
I was kept busy making Troll Crosses and Sun Spirals for the young ones. These are all cousins and glad to see them happy.
DIana Johnson presides over the display of iron jewelry in her period dress.
Farmer's Market on Courthouse Square
Ripley County Courthouse Square
At the Bicentennial we were also the Honor Guard
Mike Fisher, myself and our Bagpiper Mike Horvath of Cincinnati Ohio. Mike played out the torch leaving the square with Amazing Grace.
FARM Club at Ripley Co. Fairgrounds, last weekend of June.
John Cummins and Reece Heffelmire at FARM Show
GJ at FARM Show.
Grill Set for my Host of an Oklahoma Wild Turkey Hunt
The finale was my attempt at Turkey design.
A batch of Iron Jewelry, fashioned with fire and hammer.
A fine example of Sun Scroll with venitian beads as decoration.
Carrie Malatesta of SHP asked for forged Chopper.
Collection of three styles of Chopper.
Trinkets for the Fletcher Family. My Uncle Alvin's anvil put to use.
Cousin Debbie Volz, Aunt Shirley and Cousin Joyce Volz protected from Trolls.
Young Hayden is Blacksmith in Training in September 2017.
Dillsboro Fall Festival September of 2017.
These are some items to have on hand for the three day Operation Pumpkin festival.
Mobile Shop at Hamilton's Operation Pumpkin
Gary J forges the finale for a grill fork at Operation Pumpkin.
John Cummins and Ram's Head fire poker.
Young Blacksmiths take a turn at the forge on Sunday of OP
Joe Hughes of Blacklist Skateboard Shop commissioned 86s.
These items headed for John Sabati of Hawaii. We are texting buddies with a group of Wild Turkey Hunters.
Despite our long distance interaction, I feel close enough to Jon to share my other hobby, Blacksmithing. While we have never met in person, Jon and I are acquainted with Ray Eye and others with a common interest in hunting wild turkeys. Myself, I am a flintlock enthusiast. In 2013 Ray and I had a very successful Fall Turkey Retro hunt in Missouri. You will not believe the video!!
Giant Troll Cross and letter opener
Working on a 1911 School we had to take out a structural deck for a new elevator. The concrete was re-enforced with square iron that was twisted. This was new to me after many years in the construction industry. A few pieces were salvaged and this one wanted to be a giant Troll Cross, some 10 inches in diameter. To maintain the square corners on the bar we forged the circles and used them to pull the stock around a ring cone.
Letter opener was made before the Versailles Bicentennial. Sherry of Ernie’s Pizza had to have it when she saw it.
Letter Opener fashioned from round stock.
First customer of the Moores Hill Bicentennial Event September 22, 2018
We barely had a fire started when Hunter Newman began asking questions. He watched as I forged a Troll Cross and I explained its protective powers. When I finished, I asked him to pick a Venetian Trade Bead, and we put together a necklace.
John Cummins as parade passes
Moores Hill is John and his family’s hometown. Anvil Envy accepted the invitation to demonstrate for the town’s 200th anniversary. This photo was taken before the rain came and while the parade was happening.
John Cummins forges head of Moose hook.
We take turns at the anvil to demonstrate the functions of the old tools and skills. Nothing is necessarily scripted. Sometimes there are orders to be filled or you may pick up a piece of scrap and it tells you what it wants to be. To take stock of simple dimensions and create something another may cherish for years to come, is a satisfying feat.
GJ at the Forge. Moore's Hill Bicentennial 9/22/2018
Put the tarp over the frame when it started to rain. Was a good day over all.
Scrap from Monument sign in Fairfield OH
Nick Weisbrod was laying up the foundation for a monument sign in front of the Central Elementary School in Fairfield. The tube steel frame had a piece so square stock welded to the bottom, as a strut. I told Nick to save that piece and I would make, for him, something awesome. Turns out it wanted to be a fire poker and instead of scrap it will be working for Nick for as long as he needs it.
Decorative Hook for Horse Collar
Dan Dodge working with us on Norwood Middle School. Dan came out to Operation Pumpkin and bought a hook for his wife. He ordered this big hook for a horse collar decoration.