Episode #29 – Grant Haverstock “Welding is the gateway drug to Blacksmithing”

Grant Haverstock is a blacksmith who owns Firehouse Ironworks, a blacksmithing business in Nova Scotia, Canada.  He forges ornamental architectural ironwork as well as teaches blacksmithing classes to the public, this is the only blacksmith training facility of its kind in Eastern Canada.  Grant is also the president of the Cape Breton Blacksmiths Association (CBBA), a non-profit organization that has just over 50 members.  The CBBA will be hosting CanIronX, the largest Canadian blacksmithing conference, this year in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada.

fiddle  Top of fireplace set  Church railing

What We Talked About

  • Grant makes both architectural and sculptural pieces in his shop, his preference would be to have customers asking for sculptural gates that call for the traditional blacksmithing techniques, such as the organic twisting vines with forge welded leaves.
  • When I asked Grant what blacksmith he would like to spend a day with, he said Philip Simmons.  Philip Simmons was a prolific blacksmith who spent 78 years producing work in and around Charleston, South Carolina.  He died on 2009.  Grant has nominated Phillip several times for the ABANA Alex Bealer Award though he has never won it.
  • Grant served on the board of directors of ABANA for the year of 2013.  He wanted to ABANA to be more involved in the Canadian blacksmithing efforts.
  • One of the most interesting tools Grant owns is a super cool, early 1900’s belt driven rivet forge.  He ended up buying it from a little old darling lady that still had it from when her husband was alive.
  • When talking about computer ability, Grant is sufficiently skilled on the computer and with social media.  He has help from his better half, Jessica, who owns a business that builds websites, Beach Pea Designs, www.beachpea.ca .  Jessica’s company has built Grant’s blacksmith business website (http://firehouseironworks.com/), the Cape Breton Blacksmiths Association’s website (http://cbblacksmiths.com/) and the CanIronX website (www.canironx.ca).
  • Grant started as a hobby blacksmith back in the 1980’s.  He finally ended up turning his hobby into a career in 2010 because he needed the creative outlet in what he was doing.
  • CanIronX is the largest Canadian blacksmithing event that is held every other year.  This year the CBBA (Cape Breton Blacksmiths Association) is hosting the conference in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on July 2nd through July 5th.  The venue will be held at the Inverary Resort, a waterfront property situated on the Bras d’Or Lake.  The demonstration tents will be set up on the sandy beaches of the Bras d’Or Lake.  Lobster, beer and bonfires at night.
  • CanIronX will have 3 to 4 larger demonstration tents and 8 to 10 smaller tents for hands-on and teaching opportunities.  Lorelei Simms will be teaching a beginners course for the youth.
  • The CanIronX demonstrators include Ian Hope-Simpson, Zeevik Gottleib, Uri Hofi, Mark Aspery and Albert Paley will be lecturing.
  • Grant mentions that the CBBA has worked out a promotional discount with Air Canada and West Jet for the conference.  To find out more details, email the CBBA through the CanIronX website to receive the promo code for the discount (but you have to be registered for the conference first).

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Cape Breton Blacksmiths Association, http://cbblacksmiths.com/.

CBBA logo

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.