James Makely is an artist blacksmith in Colorado, USA. He works full time as an artist blacksmith with the award winning design company, Living Design Studios.
What We Talked About
- At 12 years old, James became interested in the blacksmith craft one year when he saw a blacksmith hammering on an anvil at a local fair.
- He soon became active in the local Appalachian Blacksmith Association to learn and expand his skills.
- The book “Country Blacksmithing” by Charles McRaven was a great resource for James, as well as “Professional Smithing” by Darryl Streeter.
- To further his career as a blacksmith he applied for an apprenticeship with Dragon Forge in Colorado. Craig May introduced James to being a modern blacksmith by using modern blacksmith equipment, hydraulic presses, and power hammers. He was an apprentice there for 5 years.
- For the past 10 years, he has been the main artist blacksmith at Living Design Studios, Inc. They design and create large commercial commissions as well as private residential commissions.
- James has been picked to be a master blacksmith at the Ypres 2016 International Blacksmith event. His panel design was one of the winning designs picked from the 104 designs submitted.
- His panel design includes nine different examples of shovels from WW1. Each shovel has its own unique design based on the country of where it was made.
- When asked how he came up with the idea of using shovels in his design, he said the simple utilitarian item played a big role each soldier’s lives during that time, in living, in surviving and in death. When looking at old pictures from WW1, you would almost always see a shovel in the picture.
- While attending the event in Belgium, James will take a full-size drawing of the panel and possibly a small maquette to help with communicating the design to his assisting smiths.
Living Design Studios, Inc website – http://livingdesignstudios.com/
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor www.ypres2016.com
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