About Forge Works
About Forge Works: When I begin to tell the story of how I got involved in forging metal, it includes my natural curiosity of how things work and my desire to build things with my hands. When I was thirteen, I was studying medieval times and the dress of the day. I was incredibly interested in how they made chain mail. I wanted to learn how they made it, and really, I wanted to make it myself. So at 13 I approached my dad and asked him for some direction. Without hesitation my dad encouraged me to go after it. We bought a few tools and materials and built out a plan. The rest is history!
The apprenticeship serves all craftsmen as the training ground where they learn the intricacies of their craft. For some trades, to become a master craftsman requires four years of direct supervision and training to learn the craft and be eligible to work on your own. Each apprentice serves as the student under the direction and guidance of the journeyman. This is no different for the blacksmith. Each day and year the apprentice learns the focus and diligence of the trade. They learn the temperatures and speed required to form the metal, the different styles of forging that provide the most unique or similar impressions and that the focus of the work is about the process and the journey and less about production. The apprentice years for me were all about learning the process, the journey and the art of the blacksmith. I am in love with utilizing the elements in a way that allows me to form function from nothing. I love the way metal allows you to bend and mold it without receding from its strength and durability. It is an amazing craft and I am incredibly thankful that I was able to go through the journey under the tutelage of a master craftsman like Reimer.
Today I am learning to engage my skills in the world of business. I love the artistic side of business and I am learning the simple truths of what businesses need to run. As with all small business owners, I am learning that there is more to running a business than meets the eye. I am not afraid of that. What I am afraid of is not living the passion and delivering the vision of my customers. However, I am more than confident, just as I was when I was 13, that I am able to deliver quality materials. Now I am excited to have the opportunity to learn the aspects of business: sales, marketing, book keeping and taxes. They are all a piece of my journey now and I am happy to be able to do what I love every day as a job, not a career.
There is no telling where the journey will take someone. But isn’t that the best part of the process? It’s like having a vision of how you would like something to turn out and then it turns out so much better than you could’ve ever imagined. I know that being a blacksmith and a forger will be in my future. I know that I will have many successful years walking my customers through the journey of their visions. What I don’t know is the timeline. We plan and we prepare, but ultimately we may never know the exact timing when we will meet the success we have always dreamed about. For me, success is living the dream of doing what I love and making the best of the opportunity I have in front of me. One day I can imagine that this could be training people overseas, people less fortunate than myself, in the ways of the blacksmith art. I could train them to make their villages better, stronger and more complete. That could be when I am 50 or it could be when I hit the ripe old age of 29. I am not sure. One thing is for sure, I will do it. It is part of my dream and so far, I’ve been able to live the dream. So why wouldn’t it happen? I just want to be patient and enjoy the journey until it does.