Orion Forge is a professional blacksmith shop located in Bend, Oregon and has been operating since 2004. The shop specializes in custom work; hand-forged, functional, and one of a kind.
My first experience working in a blacksmith shop was high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. It was the winter of 1995; I was living in the sticks in an off-the-grid adobe house and needed a job to support my skiing habit. I had two neighbors who offered me work - one a roofer, the other a blacksmith. It was an easy decision to pass on the steep, icy roofs and cold temps for the relative warmth and novelty of work in the forge. Thus began a journey into the art of blacksmithing that continues to this day.
Because I am drawn to the history of blacksmithing, I am drawn to the traditional means of joining metal. Any modern shop will have a variety of welding machines on hand to join steel together, my shop certainly does. However, I favor the older methods of joinery and consequently attempt to use rivets or mortise and tenon techniques for any prominent joints. Take a look at the furniture I build, the lack of visible welds lends the pieces a style and aesthetic that you won't find anything but finely built, custom ironwork. It takes more time, but the results are obvious to the discerning customer
Many of our tables are topped with barnwood. This is genuine, re-used wood usually found here in central Oregon. We do not purchase new wood and attempt to distress it to make it look old. The character of hundred-year-old wood is impossible to mimic. While we find wood offers a warmth and glow to the tables and is the preferred material, we have also used stone, concrete, and steel. Again, because all of our furniture is one of a kind, customers are free to choose the material that works best for them.
Somewhere along the way, I picked up two degrees in education and in addition to teaching blacksmithing have taught mountaineering, sailing, kayaking, and other outdoor skills. These days I enjoy devoting some of my time in the shop to sharing what I know about blacksmithing. I offer a basic blacksmithing class as well as custom, one-on-one classes. Contact me to learn more!