FEEDBACK

Take a look at what customers and friends have to say…

Steve,

Just wanted to let you know that the knives showed up Friday afternoon, just as you told us they would. That’s a degree of service I don’t believe anyone expects any more. You have been informative, helpful, friendly, and professional in every step of the process. This is the first time Leigh and I have purchased custom-made knives; thanks in large part to your efforts, it won’t be the last. We both have several projects in mind and you will be hearing from us in the future.

Regarding the knives themselves, they are superb. The Misericord is beautiful and Leigh couldn’t be more pleased with it. As for the Bowie, it is quite impressive and the pride of my Bowie collection. Both of them show clearly the time and effort, not to mention the attention to detail that you put into them. We are truly satisfied customers.

Warmest regards, Michael and Leigh Smith

Steve, I wanted to thank you for the tent stakes. They worked great! I never worried once about my tent or shade structure flying away. I knew they were very secure with your stakes holding them in place. I had enough to share with my friends and they were quite impressed as well.

Sincerely, Donna Eck

This note appeared in the August web-published JACK RABBIT NEWSLETTER regarding the 2001 BURNING MAN Festival in the Nevada desert:

Shameless plug, without remuneration. Worried about the wind pulling apart your camp, looking for strong and long camp stakes, look no further. Run, don’t walk to: Moose Creek Forge. My camp’s bought about 30 of this guys stakes, and they are amazing!

“Hi Steve, I am back in the States for a while and finally got to see the knife you
made. It is very nice. Excellent quality and workmanship. I am very
pleased with it and thanks for the extra fancy scroll work on the handle end.
I will be in touch. Probably want to get some more items from you in the
near future. I will be in touch.

Kind Regards,
Tim Merchant”

“Steve, I wanted to take the time to thank you for being at the right place at the right time and getting me heading on my journey into blacksmithing. Two years ago this October I was lucky enough to be at the Withrow Springs Renaissance Faire and got to see you at work. I’ve always been fascinated by fire, and enjoyed watching smiths at work. After listening to your own experiences and how you got started, triggered something in me that said “Hey, I should give that a try too!” Took me another half a year to get everything organized and supplied, but this month I’ve been working at it a year now. I started out with a make-shift operation in my backyard , grew to a semi permanent shop of canvas and is now a permanent shop that I built as an add on to my already large shed. While I’m not sure if I’d qualify as a smith yet, I feel as if I’m doing pretty well for a part-timer picking it up as I go through trial and error and a few web sites. If nothing else I’ve managed to clean out one local steel suppliers scrap area of all 1/4 to 3/8 square and round stock. I hope to see you again this year when Withrow’s faire resumes.

Sincerely
Mark Bostick”

“I send you the invitation to the 5th big exhibition of the IFGS (Internationaler Fachverband Gestaltender Schmiede). It will be held from June 1 to July 15, 2001, at the castle in Stolberg, near Aachen (Germany). Please look more details on the exhibition in the enclose. The Association cordially invites [you] to the “Damascene Steel” exhibition and smithing symposium.greetings”

-Ingolf Eschenbach

“Dear Mr. Robinson! We hope that your attendance at the symposium was interesting for you… The works which you have made are evidence that you have achieved the level of Master in the techniques of Artistic Blacksmithing. Thank you for taking part in the symposium and we hope that we will meet again in the future.”

– A. A. Ermakov Director of the Ulyanovsk [Russia] Artists Fund

“Hi Steve, From the bottom of the heart we congratulate you on the day of your birth! All smiths “КОРЧ” wish to you strong health, сильнейшего [strength] of desire to create… always to remain the same cheerful, witty, wise man we know… Steve you молодец [have done well]! Steve, if I did not write to you ещё [yet], I speak that your page in the Internet [is] remarkable, we wait for your new operations. Steve, I ask you to consider our offer concerning [a trip] to us in Ulyanovsk in the autumn 2001. On our holiday -15лет [15th anniversary] “КОРЧ” . Мы [We] are very glad to see you… in Ulyanovsk. On this I beforehand put this question as you know, that registration of the documents needs a lot of time. Consider this message as the preliminary invitation. I await your answer.”

– Alexander Romanov Master of the Union of Artists of the Russian Federation, Simbirsk Blacksmith Shop “KORCH” [Korch or “КОРЧ” is an ancient Russian word meaning blacksmith shop]

“Dear Moose Creek Forge, I am a novice learner blacksmith here in West Australia. I am a member of the West Australian Blacksmiths Association… The one thing that I Do want to make… is a rose. I stumbled across your site while I was looking up bladesmithing and I must say that your roses are fantastic!! Please, if it is not too much trouble, could you possibly tell me how you are able to create such a beautiful flower from metal??? I thank you for your time and any help that you can give me.”

– Dion Hedges West Australian Blacksmiths Association

“Dear Tiny, I am a metal artist, but don’t consider myself a blacksmith. I’m 34, and started steel working in my 2nd year of high school. I worked my way up to shop foreman, inspector, and certified welding inspector… I have great respect for your talent. I currently do metal sculptures of various types. I use torches, welding machines, grinders(20th century equipment)… I have the desire to teach myself traditional blacksmithing. I feel that if I can’t produce an object from iron without the aid of 20th century equipment, I’m cheating myself in saying I am a metal sculptor. I just wanted you to know you have inspired me, Thank You.”

– Steve “Zeke” Zilewicz-Bouzan Gloucester, MA

“Hi, I really enjoyed going through your website. I myself make reproduction arms and armour [especially those of eastern origin , like Indian and Persian] as a hobby . These days I’m wanting to make Damascus steel for my swords. I had been trying to forge weld for a year… I use charcoal in my forge , but nothing is really working… I switched to coal and I managed to make my first forge weld in no time , and now forge welding is second nature to me. But the problem is that I feel extremely guilty [especially more after reading your article in FORGE HINTS] using coal, cause it causes so much damage to the environment… There are not many trees in Pakistan, and in lots of places where there is no gas or electricity , people use wood for cooking, and… coal is much cheaper here. I want to learn to forge weld with charcoal , what’s the best way of reaching the right temperature? I tried using a lot of air but then a lot of the fuel just kept blowing off the fire, and at the end I just managed to make my work piece bright orange… and waste a lot of charcoal. So what should I do? Hope to hear from you soon”

– Shehzad Hydar Pakistan

MOOSE CREEK FORGE receives email from all over the world with comments from customers, and requests for information and assistance from blacksmiths and metal workers of all skill levels. I personally answer every email message as promptly as I am able, and pass along whatever information I have to offer to the fullest extent possible. I certainly don’t know all of the answers… far from it! I don’t think I ever will. Like everyone else out there I will continue to learn and to seek new knowledge until the day I stop breathing. When I don’t know the answer to a question I’ll say so right up front, then I’ll do my best to find the answer and post it for all to read.

If you have a particular subject, project, or idea related to blacksmithing that you would like for me to address on my FORGE HINTS page, please write me. If I don’t have any ready information I will not only say so, but I’ll do the best I can to identify sources of information for you.

If you have specific ideas or time-saving hints that you’d like to share with other blacksmiths or metal workers, write me with the details and I’ll get the information posted for others to read.

For those who live in the United States and are interested in blacksmithing, bladesmithing, and metal sculpture, I strongly recommend you to the ARTIST-BLACKSMITH ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA, generally known by its acronym – ABANA. You can visit their web site at: http://www.abana.org/index.html