Custom Engineered Ironware since 2015
- ABOUT ME -
A reimagining of The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from my currant point of view, mostly done with ChatGPT.
The Dream Once Forged
In the quiet of the town, where the anvil's song once rang,
Stood the forge, now silent, where my aspirations sprang.
Beneath the spreading chestnut, I, young in years and might,
Dreamt of hammering iron, from morning until night.
But a specter came, unseen, changing life's usual tune,
COVID's wrath had touched me, and stopped my dreams too soon.
Breath, once deep and steady, now shallow and often strained,
The vigor in my muscles, by the virus, was drained.
I watched the glowing embers, remembering the flame,
Of passion and of purpose, before the sickness came.
The horseshoes and the metal, once shaped by hand and heart,
Now lay untouched and waiting, my craft torn apart.
Villagers came and whispered, of the blacksmith's fading dream,
But in my heart, a fire still burned, albeit a weaker gleam.
Though hands can't wield the hammer, or stoke the furnace's heat,
In spirit, I'm still forging, my destiny to meet.
For life has ways of teaching, through trials and through pain,
That dreams may change in shape and form, but their essence will remain.
Though COVID took from me, a future once so bright,
I'll forge a path, in different ways, with all my remaining might.
Remember then, young blacksmith, when life's challenges appear,
That even in the darkest times, our purpose remains clear.
To shape, to mold, to create anew, in ways we never knew,
For the heart of a blacksmith beats, forever strong and true.
My Journey into blacksmithing began as a fourteen year old on a family trip to a historic village called This is The Place in Salt Lake City. During our exploration of the village we stopped at the blacksmith shop. The blacksmith, Brent Elder was making knives and playing with fire. I couldn't imagine anything better, so I asked Brent if I could be an apprentice. He agreed and I spent as much of the next two summers as I was able in the village blacksmith shop.
During this time I also acquired my first anvil, a 200+ pound gear from a scrap yard. I also met up with the local chapter of the Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA), the Bonneville Forge Council and got my first forge and blower from one of the members. I was able to set up a shop at my parents’ house and continued to practice and learn.
In 2005 I attended a blacksmithing class at the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. The most significant thing I got out of that class was a well radiused crosspeen hammer that I still use as my primary forging hammer.
In 2009 I came full circle and was hired as a seasonal blacksmith back at This is The Place Park, it was here I met another of my great mentors in the craft, Brian Westover. That year at the park I also met the woman who would become my wife. I like to think that blacksmithing played some part in our courtship, as I taught her to make a few things in the shop, and gave her the first iron rose that I successfully made. Then in 2010 I spent a summer working at another living history farm in cache valley Utah. In 2011 I was back again at This is the place where I continued working seasonally until October of 2014
In the fall of 2014 I was contacted by someone who was working on restoring a blacksmith shop that was built in 1895, they were looking for a blacksmith to sort through nearly a hundred years worth of tools and other items that had ended up in the shop, and determine what would be appropriate to display in the restored shop as actual blacksmith tools. Through the course of doing that I met the Man who owned the shop and he expressed interest in having the shop used again as a working blacksmith shop.
Now I operate that historic blacksmith shop in Eden Utah.
There is at least in summary my journey as a blacksmith, from a boy just thrilled to be playing with fire and steel on occasion to a full time blacksmith working in a hundred and twenty year old shop.
Dear Valued Customers and Friends,
Over the past 18 months, I have been facing a challenging battle with long-term effects of COVID-19. Despite the hurdles, I held onto the hope of recovering and returning to the vibrant atmosphere of the shop here in Eden. However, with a heavy heart, I have come to the decision to close down Ragnar Forge Blacksmithing.
The journey has been incredible and enriched with the support and camaraderie from all of you. Your patronage has meant more than words can express, and the memories forged (pun intended) will be cherished forever.
I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have served this wonderful community. Your understanding and continuous support during this trying time is highly appreciated.
Thank you for being an integral part of Ragnar Forge Blacksmithing's story. Although this chapter is closing, the spirit of craftsmanship and community we built together will surely endure.