Apr 6, 2015
Carley Eisenberg has a blacksmithing business called Iron
Mountain Forge where she forges sculptural and functional artwork
in Boone, NC. In February she was on the HGTV’s “Ellen’s
Design Challenge” as a furniture designer contestant, the executive
producer was Ellen DeGeneres. You can watch the series and
see what Carley created on the show here on YouTube, here. Her beautiful designs kept her on
the show for 3 weeks.
What We Talked About:
- Her start in metal was
welding and then asked a friend to build her a gas forge and
started to blacksmith on her own.
- After a month of
blacksmithing on her own, she applied for a job at Oak Hill
Iron. The owner asked her to TIG weld two pieces of aluminum
right on the spot and said “If you can TIG weld these two pieces
together you have a job”. She ended up staying there for 10
months until she was asked to be on the Ellen Design Challenge
- Carley started an Etsy page in 2010
first to sell her wood working pieces, such as cutting boards, then
she started to add her blacksmithing pieces to sell. She has
done quite well with Etsy having 171 sales since 2010.
After the premiere of one of the Ellen’s Design
Challenge Carley had 12 sales from her Etsy page within an
- Carley came up with a
really cool technique while she was on the show, it involves
sinking in the flat sides of square tubing and then twisting the
tube, the result looks like a twisted ribbon. You can see it
in Carley’s ribbon table pictured on this page.
- Carley has been able to
raise her hourly rate since being on the HGTV show from $65 to
- Her income mainstay in
her business is making beer taps for the Appalachian Mountain
Brewery in Boone NC, about 50 taps every week. The taps look
like huge hops made of metal, pictured on this page.
- Carley’s shop is in a
co-op type building that houses 12 different artists, she pays
- One of her
blacksmithing highlights was taking a class from Clay Spencer at
the John C Campbell Folk School, it was the advanced traditional
joinery class that was a week long.
- The “Ellen’s Design
Challenge” was exactly that, a challenge! Designing a piece
of furniture in a short amount of time, three nine hour
days, was the most stressful part of the challenge.
Unfortunately Carley was voted off the show with her 4th design of
the show, which was a couch.
- We talk about a
subsection of her website called “Red Cloak
Studios”, dedicated to art and furniture pieces that are
designed from the original versions of different fables and
talks about the symbolism behind her “Dear Rocking Chair” she made,
it’s supposed to be the wolf cloaked as the grandmother, a nice old
comfortable rocking chair enticing you to sit down. The chair
took her 70 hours to make with over 100 plug welds in the whole
Carley Eisenberg’s Links:
Website – http://www.carleyeisenberg.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/IronMountainForgeNC
Esty page -
Twitter – @Carley_imf
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – NOMMA, www.nomma.org