Regional Blacksmithing Groups & Smiths
Firehouse Ironworks - Cape Breton, Nova
Guild of Central Maryland
Gulf Coast Blacksmith Association -
Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, & Florida
Texas Metalworks - Lee Lanford - Texas
- Artist Blacksmith
Kennady Custom Metal - Jim Kennady - North
I went on-line looking for a
natural finish application for my ironwork and
came across an excellent product called
Breakthrough; it is manufactured by Vanex Inc
and it is an excellent interior/exterior
industrial grade acrylic finish that is
incredibly durable. I recommended Clear Satin
50-0 though there are numerous gloss or satin,
clear and colors available. They do custom tints
as well. 1.800.851.7390
the application process i
recommend is to dilute the first coat with half
water. this has to be done especially if there
are nooks and crannies in the ironwork. the
second coat can be more like 20% water, and the
final coat should be full strength.
allow a day in between
coats. there is a milky blue tint to the paint
that makes it easier to see when the metal has
been covered. it will dry clear.
if you opt to use a brush,
please dilute and use a very good natural hair
small bubbles left on the
surface will dry and make the piece look bad.
i use a sprayer when
Gano Welding and Supply
- This family owned and operated business is
located here in Charleston, Illinois. The
company was founded by Linda Slaughter's family
and she continues to operate the business with
the assistance of her two sons T.K. and Pat. If
you have any questions about welders or welding
products, they can assist you.
have extensive material and supply catalogs.
Usually when I call in an order, my shipment
will arrive within 48 hours. The Sales Clerks at
both companies are knowledgeable about the
products and are helpful when I am not quite
sure what exactly I want.
As stated on the main page of
Crescent City Iron Supply
is a full-service ornamental iron supplier that
carries a full range of castings, forgings,
hardware, and paints. Their mailing address is
9835 Derby Lane - Westchester, Illinois 60154 (tel)
I learned the fundamentals
of blacksmithing when I apprenticed with Elmer
in the early 1990's. He made me my first
set of forging hammers, which I still use today.
Working Metal is a studio
located in Champaign, Illinois, headed up by
Dean Rose. Dean is a working blacksmith and an
awesome caster. He has come through for me
several times with replacement castings for
restoration projects. Working Metal is located
at 409 East Springfield Avenue - Champaign,
Illinois 61820 (tel) 217.355.6510
is an artist-blacksmith located in Texas and he
is the man to speak to if you are
interested in learning how to operate a fly
There are two
steel yards located in Mattoon, Illinois which I
McFarland Steel is another
local family-owned and operated business, the
patriarch is Gene McFarland. They are located at
1005 Marshall Avenue and their telephone number
General Steel and Metals
is located on the corner of Logan & Dewitt
Avenue (217) 235.5575.
Dan Broten is an awesome
friend as well as a very talented photographer;
they are several of his shots featured on this
website. He is a commercial photographer who
does free-lance work in the Chicago Area as well
as Minnesota. I also had the opportunity to work
with Dan on my book "The
Backyard Blacksmith - Traditional Techniques for
the Modern Smith".
Bob Biddux's studio is called
I was very fortunate to hook-up with him through
my friends Camille and Keith; I booked studio
time to photograph the grape leaf and vine table
and chair commission and am very pleased with
his work. The cavern shots featured on his
webpage are beautiful.
Mista Richard Hellyer is a
hellavu photographer, an outstanding and
respectable citizen, and damn fine friend. His
The f. Stops Here,
is located in Sawyer, Michigan.
is a local photographer here in Charleston. He
has shot two of my pieces and I am very happy
with the work he has produced.
Joe Ethridge is
a Charleston Illinois Photographer and a life
long resident of Coles County in Illinois.
Landscapes, cityscapes, nature and architecture
are among his specialties. His
studio/gallery is located just off the
Courthouse Square, 714 Monroe, here in
Illinois Sites of Interest
City of Charleston
I was an elected commissioner on the Charleston
City Council for eight years, with a campaign
Forging for the Future. I really enjoyed the
opportunity to represent the residents of my
community. Check out my hometown.
Eastern Illinois University
is located here in Charleston and I am an
alumnus. The students, faculty, and employees of
the University provide diversity and cultural
opportunities that can not be found in other
rural Midwest towns.
is the website of B.F. "Mac" and Dorothy
McClerren. The McClerrens are amazing Lincoln
look-a-likes and their presentations are
interesting, accurate, and informative. Through
this site you can arrange for a "Visit with the
Roc's Blackfront Restaurant and
Lounge offers the best
ribs in Central Illinois. Mike Knoop is the
proprietor and in the mid 1990's he refurbished
and rechristened the dilapidated building, which
was once an extremely popular illegal gambling
house here in down state Illinois. The ribs are
available for overnight delivery - I recommend
Norm's Nirvana Sauce.
Charleston Alley Theatre
is a small, intimate, avante garde,
experimental, regional, privately-owned theatre.
Its self-imposed mandate is to do interesting,
exciting, challenging shows that are not
commonly done, from Lysistrata and Macbeth to
Arthur Miller's Creation of the World and Other
Business and works of Christopher Durang.
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic
Site, eight miles
south of Charleston, preserves the last home of
Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother, Thomas
and Sarah Bush Lincoln. The 86-acre site, which
includes the reconstructed Lincoln cabin and a
surrounding living history farm, is managed by
the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Lincoln Log Cabin hosts many historic and
traditional events throughout the year. In true
pioneer spirit, each October, the annual Harvest
Frolic provides a weekend of traditional
harvesting demonstrations, food preparation,
crafts, and music.
Omaha Botanical Gardens
- If you ever find yourself visiting or passing
through Nebraska, the Gardens is a beautiful
place to visit.
features the artistic talents of Karen Hellyer.
She is an accomplished artist and musician and
she offers a broad range of media services
through this portal.