My journey as a blacksmith began in 1999 when I attended a weekend workshop at a local State park. I was mesmerized by the forging process, the rhythmic ring of the hammer meeting the anvil and the way iron became malleable when heated to a bright orange glow. I have always been interested in the old ways of doing things, the skills and crafts of our ancestors that allowed them to go into the wilderness and create a life for themselves, so blacksmithing was a natural choice for me. I soon had my own hand crank forge, anvil, and post vise and started my education as a smith.
Now many years later I am still captivated by my work. There is something magical about forging iron that strikes a chord deep within me. Whether I’m forging a knife, axe or frying pan I never tire of watching the iron transform under the careful guidance of my hammer. Every day is a learning process and I seek the lessons the iron and fire have to teach me. My goal as a craftsman is not only to create beautiful objects but to master these ancient techniques. I want to know that I could stand shoulder to shoulder with a Blacksmith of 200 years ago and keep pace. It is also important to me that I share this acquired knowledge with others and so I take every opportunity to teach that comes my way, whether it means bringing a youngster to my shop or demonstrating at craft fairs and festivals.
Although knives, axes, and woodworking tools are my favorite things to make I also create a variety of kitchenware, home decor, fireplace tools, and architectural iron. Please check out my etsy store at www.etsy.com/shop/ShiraForge to see what I have available. If you are looking to have something custom made feel free to contact me. One of the greatest aspects of my work is collaborating with a customer to bring their idea to life!
Thank you for your interest!
Matthew Shirey, Blackmsith – Shira Forge