In 2003 I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Sebring as a metal shop and drafting teacher; it was in these classes I started to come to the realization that I could have a career in the trades.
2004 I had my first proper blacksmithing class with Mr. Jim Grove. In this class I witnessed the “magic “ of blacksmithing, the instant my hammer hit hot steel I knew…This is what I need to do with my life.
The journey begins… my goal when I first started was to learn some of each branch of blacksmithing, architectural iron, tools and blades, as well as horse shoeing.
2005 I happened to meet the most influential man in my career who in time would help me to realize my potential and shape me into the smith I am today; That man was John MacDonald “little John the blacksmith “. Under his tutelage I was schooled in forging traditions of Japan, Scandinavia, and Africa. We had many hours long conversations about metallurgy, blade geometry, iron blooming, and bronze casting. During the months spent living with him and his family my mind was brimmed with knowledge every day.
It was there my unique style and feel began to take shape.
Around the same time I was introduced to Thomas Moore an architectural blacksmith in Pennsylvania, just a few miles away from where I was living. He agreed to take me on as a helper (I wouldn't go so far as to call it an apprenticeship). Thomas taught me design in iron to take and Draw out a bar to create a sinuous pleasing scroll. It was here I was given great freedom to explore and experiment with ideas and techniques to further my own personal style.
2008 I enrolled in the Kentucky horseshoeing school, arguably one of the best schools for the trade in the country. This was a very challenging and exciting experience for me. Before starting I had very limited knowledge of horses and horsemanship. Within this course we were taught in depth anatomy of the leg and foot structure, sound trimming techniques, sporting and therapeutic shoeing, as well as horsemanship. After graduating 2nd in my class I went on to and apprenticeship with Jonathan Fell.
2009 Along with everything else that was going on, I was offered an opportunity by a very generous friend to build a shop on his land. With a single old growth oak and a tremendous amount of help from my father and friends construction began. My goal with the shop was to create a late 19th early 20th century style shop, with hand tools I cut all of the posts and beams, laid brick that would become my forge, recycled siding from a 1860’s home and a beam from a 1900’s canning factory to create the shop that exists today.
2012 I started down a slightly different path, with an apprenticeship at a local Jeweler. Over a 4 year period I became proficient in this trade and added yet another facet to my work.
Currently I am traveling the country continuing to grow as a craftsman while offering a full line of handcrafted products that range from fine chefs knives and swords to gates and fences, as well as a small line of handmade jewelry that like the rest of my work draws from my love of old world classic design.
Thank you for your interest in Damselfly Forge, I look forward to working with you to create beautiful works that will last generations.