Ian Hope-Simpson has been operating Ironwood Forge & Woodworks near WoIfville, Nova Scotia since 1993. He also has experience with masonry, carpentry, pewter work, photography and as a farrier. In the ’70’s Ian started working as an apprentice blacksmith in a Halifax Shipyard followed by time with John Little. Over the years he has built several houses and workshops, including his current residence, forge & woodworking shops above the Gaspereau Valley. His work has been a variety of functional, architectural and sculptural projects. Ian recently received a grant from the Nova Scotia Department of Culture to prepare an exhibition of sculpture. Ian is a member of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, the Maritime Blacksmith Association and the Cape Breton Blacksmith Association.
What We Talked About
- Ian will have a sculptural demonstration at CanIronX, his attitude towards sculpture is “it isn’t what you do, it’s how you do it”. While he doesn’t demonstrate very often his is looking forward to the CanIronX opportunity.
- Ian makes a wide variety of forged metal pieces, metal gates, chandeliers, sculptures, signs and architectural brackets. He is willing to take anything on to keep a good living doing his craft. He also is a very skilled woodworker and looks for opportunities to join metal and wood together.
- He has built his own timber frame wood working shop and separate blacksmith shop. He gathered the timber from his surrounding forests and used a portable mill and a broad axe to hand hew some of the logs.
- Ian’s blacksmithing shop has 5 post vices, several anvils, mig and stick welder and a 50 ton hydraulic press accessorized with his hand made tooling. He has a 100 pound Little Giant and 25 pound power hammer.
- One of his most interesting projects was making a table for a biologist who studied Bland Turtles. Ian made a turtle climbing out of a bed of lily pads onto a beautiful slab of wood as the table top.
- He belongs to the Maritime Blacksmithing Association, which is an active group of around 240 members. They have monthly workshops through the Spring, Summer and Fall.
Ian’s website – http://hope-simpson.com/
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