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2018 ABANA Conference in the books!

The 2018 ABANA Conference was awesome! Because the conference was held in Richmond, VA this year, our team was able to road trip the 6+ hours to participate in the forging competitions, observe multiple demonstrations, and camp on the grounds, where we met and learned from some of the best smiths in the world. We also spent time with friends from Hereford College of Arts, who always help us refine our own techniques and further develop our approach to ongoing education for both our team and our interns. Big CONGRATULATIONS to Matt and Annie who participated in the forging competitions held throughout the conference, and brought home gold, silver, and bronze finishes. Chain Making open division: Matt 1st place; Annie 2nd place...

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The Washington Post! And, Robert's an author?

Today's been a big day for us! The Washington Post printed an article about our ironwork and how we’re working to change the perception of blacksmithing today. You can check out the Washington Post article here!   Also today, Robert's book is ranked #1 New Release in Metal Work on Amazon! The article above also mentions Robert's book, The Art and Craft of the Blacksmith: Techniques and Inspiration for the Modern Smith. The concept of this book has been an idea in Robert's head for a while now. Often looking for resources himself, Robert wanted to create a reference guide for skilled craftsmen. At the same time, our now publisher was looking for a how-to, crafts-book, specifically within the blacksmithing trade, perhaps...

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Buy Local, Build Local

I was honored when RTID was asked to partake in the Slow Food USA awards this past year. I was approached by Slow Food Charleston to design and build a trophy that this year's recipient would be presented with at the annual Legend Award. Immediately, I began sketching ideas that included rice spoons, sea creatures, magnolia flowers, and of course, the organization's logo, a snail. In the end, the design concept that was chosen by the board was one of the more challenging ideas. Additionally, our team cranked out a few pot tops to replace the knob on the lids of cast-iron dutch ovens that were given away as raffle prizes. These little snails added just the right touch and their...

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The Story of a Table

This video is one of my favorites. Not only is it a great snapshot of a project start to finish, but it also documents us making one of my favorite forged iron pieces. I like building furniture, and this piece was especially meaningful, as it was for a close family friend. When the Colarossi family approached me about building a family heirloom table, I was humbled. Us? Design and build what will be considered an heirloom piece for this family to pass down from generation to generation? Nonetheless, our team nailed it! The design was somewhat simple at first, a “C”, but the dimension and artistry was complex, and gave us the opportunity to do what we do best, forge....

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Blacksmithing?

To many, blacksmithing is an antiquated craft with no modern relevance, other than perhaps shoeing horses, which we all know is a farrier's trade. But for me, and the team here at Robert Thomas Iron Design [RTID], bringing this ancient craft back from the dead was a dream. My first major step toward achieving this goal was attending Hereford College of Arts in Hereford, England. Locally, we are happy to support and work closely with the American College of Building Arts [ACBA] in Charleston, SC. I am proud to have recent graduate and valedictorian, Tyler Bickerstaff, as part of our team, paving the way for future ACBA  interns to help us attain our vision. Utilizing our broad scope of talents in the arts, as...

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