Blacksmith, Southwood Farm Forge
I started moving metal when I was eight years old in my dad’s garage. There the addiction began. My Grandaddy Johnson had a forge and a small shop on his farm in Gordonsville, Va. If he needed to repair something or something special, he made it. I still practice that concept on my farm today. In my post collegiate years, I worked in forges in the National Park Service and several museums/historic sites. I began to make my own hammers and tools, as well as purchasing the others to begin my business in the late 1980’s. By the 90’s, I was making lots of historic reproductions and I started sculpting.
I prefer forging in Baroque and Rococo styles (scrolls and organic curves), but I have occasionally delved into some improvisational sculpted pieces. (Start with a lump or lumps of some iron and end in an abstract piece) I believe that living on a farm surrounded by lots of organic diversity keeps me honest in my preference for natural shapes and utility.