Jul 11, 2016
James Makely is an artist blacksmith in Colorado, USA. He
works full time as an artist blacksmith with the award winning
design company, Living Design Studios.
What We Talked About
- At 12 years old, James became interested in the blacksmith
craft one year when he saw a blacksmith hammering on an anvil at a
- He soon became active in the local Appalachian Blacksmith
Association to learn and expand his skills.
- The book “Country Blacksmithing” by Charles McRaven was a great
resource for James, as well as “Professional Smithing” by Darryl
- To further his career as a blacksmith he applied for an
apprenticeship with Dragon Forge in Colorado. Craig May introduced
James to being a modern blacksmith by using modern blacksmith
equipment, hydraulic presses, and power hammers. He was an
apprentice there for 5 years.
- For the past 10 years, he has been the main artist blacksmith
at Living Design Studios, Inc. They design and create large
commercial commissions as well as private residential
- James has been picked to be a Master blacksmith at the Ypres
2016 International Blacksmith event. His panel design was one of
the winning designs picked from the 104 designs submitted.
- His panel design includes nine different examples of shovels
from WW1. Each shovel has its own unique design based on the
country of where it was made.
- When asked how he came up with the idea of using shovels in his
design, he said the simple utilitarian item played a big role each
soldier’s lives during that time, in living, in surviving and in
death. When looking at old pictures from WW1, you would almost
always see a shovel in the picture.
- While attending the event in Belgium, James will take a
full-size drawing of the panel and possibly a small maquette to
help with communicating the design to his assisting smiths.
Living Design Studios, Inc website - http://livingdesignstudios.com/
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