Episode #20 – Tim Cisneros “Show me the man’s tools and I’ll tell you what kind of blacksmith he is”

This is an in depth interview with Tim Cisneros a talented blacksmith that lives near Half Moon Bay, California just outside of San Francisco and he’s been blacksmithing for over 30 years.  Currently he focuses his time on his artistic blacksmithing skills and teaching blacksmiths how to make their own quality tools in a week long class.

Rocking Chair Tim Cisneros Tools Tim C Sculpture

What We Talked About

 

  • He was introduced to metalsmithing when he was 17 years old.  After high school he went to Akron University and took a few metalsmithing classes.  His professor encouraged him to look into the blacksmithing practice.
  • A 20 year career as a farrier satisfied his wanderlust of traveling, during those travels he was a period blacksmith at a historical plantation on Charleston South Carolina, called Middleton Place.  Tim ended up getting kicked by a mule and was seriously injured, this was his transition from being a farrier and starting a full time architectural metal shop.
  •  1997 – 2007 Tim built his blacksmithing architectural business, 4000 sq. ft. shop with several employees…still honing his blacksmithing skills
  •  A quote by Alfred Habermann “Show me the man’s tools and I’ll tell you what kind of blacksmith he is”
  •  Tom Clark asked Tim to go to Helfstyn Castle to watch Alfred Habermann, this was the first time he heard of the term “plastica”.  This means: when you are finished forging an element you should not know the original size of the stock and when you get metal really hot, it will forge from the inside out
  •  The trip to the Czech Republic was transformative in his understanding of the craft of blacksmithing
  •  The story behind Tim meeting Alfred Habermann in the Czech Republic at the blacksmithing conference
  •   2007 and 2008 he started making sculpture using the “plastica” method –  while the economy took a down turn and his business struggled
  •  2009 he was the volunteer coordinator at the CBA Spring conference for the Claudio Bottero team, they quickly became friends.  So much that Massimiliano, Claudio’s son, asked if he could live and work with Tim for a few months.  This turned out to be an amazing time, talking with Claudio every night over Skype.  Claudio would give them a tool to make the next day as a project. One of the most important times of his blacksmithing learning curve.
  • 2011 turned out to be a very hard time for his blacksmithing business, he had to “go on the road” to find jobs out of state.  He ended up in Reno, NV on a big job.
  •  The story behind the rocking chair he made with Brett Moten while in Reno and the friend who had “a nose for wrought iron”.  They had 60 hours of drawing and design time, 120 hours of making tools needed for the project and 300 hours of labor.
  •  His new business plan is about the craft of blacksmithing, the journey of discovery, artwork and teaching.
  •  He offers a week long class for $1200 plus $200 for materials.  You stay in his camper the whole time!!
  •  The latest job he is working on is a bench to be installed in front of the famous surfing site called Mavericks

Guest Links:

Tim’s website – Forgeworks, http://www.theforgeworks.com/Site/Welcome.html

Tim’s business FB page – https://www.facebook.com/forgeworks16?pnref=lhc

Phone number 650-201-8425

Email is forgeworks1656@yahoo.com

 
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Nimba Anvils

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