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I Forge Iron



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I am 47 and have been practicing blacksmithing for about 25 years. A friend in college was a farrier and although it was interesting, I never was overly fascinated by horseshoeing and went other directions. My family is comprised of a long line of blacksmiths going back to at least 1697 when my Wooldridge ancestor immigrated to Virginia. He was trained in either England or Scotland as a 'smith and indentured himself for two years to buy the boat ride. His descendants either farmed, were blacksmiths or coal miners. These three professions remained firmly entrenched in my family until my dad went into the oil and gas industry in the 1950's.

I guess it's a genetic thing because my grandfather on my mom's side was also a 'smith in the 1920's and had a portable rig on a Model T. He lived into his 90's and was a major influence on my life since my dad died when I was young. They lived next door to my mother and I built my first shop to give him a place to work but wound up getting hooked. He would often come sit in the shop and watch me but seldom picked up a hammer.

I was fortunate to finish college and went on to varied careers in manufacturing but thoroughly enjoy all types of metal work including blacksmithing, machining, gunsmithing, etc. I consider myself more inclined toward the tool making and industrial side of the craft - more so than calling myself any sort of artist.

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