Cyril Colnik, Man of Iron

Milwaukee, WI I am pleased to announce that finally, a book on famed master blacksmith, Cyril Colnik (1871-1958) has been published, and is available for purchase.
Alan J. Strekow, of Hales Corners, WI, has compiled a plethora of fine images of Colnik’s works, drawings, sketches and blueprints, along with commentary for a truly fine 200 page hardcover book.
Strekow, a graphic designer, has been associated with “Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum” (VTDAM) for decades, and is a co-founder of the “Friends of Villa Terrace.” VTDAM is home to two galleries of Colnik’s works, including his famous “Masterpiece” (below.)

The “Forward” to the book was written by John C. Eastberg, Director of Building Development and Senior Pabst Historian at the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee. This Flemish Renaissance style mansion was home to brewmaster Captain Frederick Pabst, of Pabst brewing fame, and is also home to several works by Cyril Colnik. (The mansion is open to the general public.)

Another section was written by blacksmith Dan Nauman, owner of Bighorn Forge, Inc. Nauman writes about Colnik through the eyes of a 20th century blacksmith. Nauman has also contributed numerous professionally shot images of Colnik’s works, obtained through a grant from the “Francis Whitaker Blacksmith’s Educational Foundation” in 1993. He has also reproduced and restored numerous works by Cyril Colnik over the years.

In 1996, Nauman enlisted the help of Strekow, along with several others, to produce a video on Colnik entitled “Forged Elegance: The Lifework of Master Blacksmith Cyril Colnik”, which aired on Wisconsin and Milwaukee Public Television in 1998. (Available for purchase through VTDAM.)
To obtain a copy of this fine book, ($45.00 plus tax, shipping, and handling) contact Allen Strekow by e-mail at, or contact VTDAM (see link for their web-site at the upper right of this post.) Available for purchase here:
….Dan Nauman
“Words are plentiful, but deeds are precious”….Lech Walesa

2 comments to “Cyril Colnik, Man of Iron”

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  1. jganvil - September 30, 2011 Reply

    I just finished reading the Cyril Colnik book “Man of Iron” and it is one of the best blacksmithing books i’ve read lately. I enjoyed reading about Ctril Colnik life and was amazed at how young he was when he created the “Masterpiece”. I highly recomend this book to blacksmiths and those that want to see quality ironwork.

    • bighornforge - October 3, 2011 Reply

      Glad you liked it…it was a long time coming, and I am happy that author Al Strekow got the job done.

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