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French Repoussé: Leaf Development

French repoussé, also called “hammer and stake raising”, is one of several repoussé processes. This method utilizes several small raising hammers, that lightly strike the sheet metal over various stake forms held in a vise. Another process involves “sinking”, by using various punch-like forms to force the sheet metal into iron or wood stakes...

Behind The Scenes I

Blacksmith Francis Whitaker, (1906 -1999) was in Germany for two years working for Master Blacksmith Julius Schramm. Schramm (1870 – 1945) asked a young Francis how he was to address a specific problem on a stand to hold a large bowl. Francis replied to the master that he would simply “put some little supports...

Cedarburg Garden Gate

Designing decorative and architectural ironwork often has its frustrating moments…..hours……days. The design for this garden gate in Cedarburg needed to address the wonderful stonework, the bursts of foliage and color in the gardens, and the starkness of the winter months. Before the pencil proceeds to sketch ideas, a trip to the client’s home provides...

Late 19th Century Sign Bracket

This is a sign bracket that I restored for a client several years ago. The workmanship is reminiscent of German ironwork during the Renaissance. After removing the many years of paint, it is always interesting to see the various tool marks, forge welds, and in this case, all the brazed joints. Below is the...

Master Blacksmith Samuel Yellin

Master Blacksmith Samuel Yellin (1885-1940) of Galicia, Poland, came to America in 1906. Probably the best known of the European born master blacksmiths in America, Yellin set up shop in Philadelphia in 1909. His last shop was located on Arch Street. Yellin was a prolific businessman. His shop boasted over 200 employees, forging commissions...

New Forms From the Forge

After many years of producing decorative and architectural ironwork reflecting classic designs, I have more recently had the opportunity to express myself in designs that reflect more of the plasticity of the metal.  Guided by my blacksmith instincts, the resulting forms are based on what I have learned over the years, simply expressed in...

Welcome to a new journey in iron.

This is indeed going to be a journey.  It will be interesting even to me as to where this dialogue leads me as the moderator, as well as you, the reader.  It is my initial hope to get you better acquanted with ironwork, with my work, and to some extent, what drives me to...