Sometime in the 1960's I became interested in blacksmithing. By searching and asking around I found an anvil and a retired agriculture teacher gave me a forge. With the art of blacksmithing essentially dead, my interest waned and I went off to college to pursue a degree in engineering. As with many artists, their creativity can usually be expressed through a variety of media, but there is one that they are passionate about. For a time I explored stained glass and woodworking, but they were not truly satisfying. As retirement neared, I began thinking of how to stay active and continue with some form of art, and blacksmithing was always lingering in the background. By chance I found the John C Campbell Folk School and read about their blacksmithing classes. After my first class there I knew I had found my passion. Returning from the school I pulled out my old forge and pushed the woodworking equipment into a corner. As my skills grew I was drawn to the work of blacksmiths of the late 1800's and each year for my birthday I asked for books picturing their work. Artists like Otto Schmirler and Samuel Yellen produced outstanding work and provided a source of inspiration. A year or so ago I made a set of bookends based on a design from Schmirler's book. I sell my work at craft shows around the state and get a real sense of pride when someone buys my work, or stops by to say they bought a piece and love it. Now that I have retired from my day job, I get to pursue my passion every day.