Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Welcome to BlacksmitHER Radio, spotlighting male and female blacksmiths around the world.


We’re committed to providing a host of resources to male and female blacksmiths of all ability levels through podcast interviews spotlighting your fellow blacksmiths. The podcast interviews are designed to help improve your metal working skills while providing an opportunity to connect with others who share your passion of blacksmithing!  

Mar 14, 2016

John Barron is a full-time blacksmith in Georgetown, CA.  He began working with metal in a large fabrication shop in Oakland, California in 1975 and learned. Today, he specializes in architectural ironwork and will be one of the demonstrators at the ABANA 2016 Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What We Talked About

  • John learned his trade from an Italian trained smith in a union iron-working shop in Oakland, California during the 1970's and 80's. He joined the Shopmen Ironworkers Union and worked in a large fabrication shop.
  • One of the main skills he learned was how to design, build and install stair railings.
  • In 1989 John left the Ironworks Union after being vested with them for 10 years. He moved to the Sierra Mountains and began working for Auburn Ironworks, the oldest running blacksmith shop in northern California.
  • A few years after hiring John, the company downsized and let him go. This pushed John to start his own blacksmithing business.
  • After five years of running the business he took a hard look at his expenses and income and found out that he was making about $7/hour, which wasn’t sustainable. So he shut the business down and went to work for other fabricators.
  • Eventually he moved to Georgetown and stated another blacksmith business.
  • In between metal jobs John does shoe repair for additional income.
  • John will be demonstrating how to design, measure, layout and install a stair railing. 46 feet of railing will be the goal to be finished and installed on-site for a handicap ramp.
  • The railing will be a collaborative project and John is asking for participants to help make the railing and also make 18 rings for the railing. The rings are to be made from 1” x ¼” flat bar, bent into a 7” circle the easy way and forge welded.  Your design can go on the inside of the ring, but will need to allow space on the sides for collaring and on the top for a rivet.  More details here:
  • If you plan on making a ring, please let John know by email, .
  • John is hoping to have six forging stations for participants to work in pairs assisting in making the railing components. The ideal participant will have level 2 blacksmith skills.


Guest Links

A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – ABANA 2016 Salt Lake Conference

Maybe more pictures

If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would support the show by:

Thanks so much for your support!