Welcome to the Kellogg & Sons Blacksmith Shop

Our traditional Blacksmith shop located in Northern New York. We do custom Blacksmithing work focused upon traditional 18th and 19th century hardware and tools.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

SOFA Quad State 2013 Part II: Demonstrators!

Tools and Demonstrators are why I keep going back to the SOFA Quad-State conference year after year.  Each is great, and is different every year!

The opening ceremony involved the forging of a T-stake anvil by Steve Parker on a big steam hammer!  Making anvils with steam powered tools - always awesome!

The source of steam was a Traction Engine parked outside the building.  The owner said his uncle had built it to the current form.  It looked like a small 3 horsepower stationary steam engine had been converted to a self propelled using antique truck and tractor parts.  Ingenious!  It was parked and piping steam to the hammer inside the main demonstration barn.

It was dark out, so these pictures aren't great.  The crew is manning the boiler as the Hammer Man and Hammer Driver work on the anvil in the barn.  It was nice to be reminded that working big iron in the past took a whole team to run the boiler, hammer, and anvil.  Only in the present does technology let a Blacksmith work alone.  Historically it was labor intensive and the hub of the village or factory.

Saturday afternoon the engine crew drove it around the grounds!

On Saturday there were demos in artistic smithing and moving metal by Brian Brazeal,  Roycroft style Copper work and repousee by Robert Trout, Power hammer work by Steve Parker and Bladesmithing by Tim Potier.

Brian's morning demo included forging steel jewelry.  This ring was forged to a very low heat, which reduced scale and produced the silver finish.  His forging style of using a very heavy hammer, slow blows, and working at a low heat is the opposite of the traditional smithing that I do with historic wrought iron.  But it sure makes a pretty finish and moves metal.  The ring show had just been forged and wire brushed.  Shiny!

Robert Trout's demo was in a big, airy new pole barn.  His tireless work and lively discussion of tools, copper work, design, and methods kept the bleachers full.  I've know Bob for 15 years and his demonstrations just keep getting better.  Even my 14 year old son was entertained and stayed in the bleachers.

He did a great job of explaining how to forge, shape, planish, and patina copper work.  Here he is shaping with a soft face cross pein on the anvil to take out excess curve.  Note the industrial carpet scrap on the horn.  That is placed on the anvil but under the work when shaping to prevent damage to the hammer patina.

Trumpet vase and picture frame.


  1. I hate that we missed SOFA this year. We only get to go about every 4 or 5 years. We do a craft show that same weekend, so if there are 5 Saturdays in that month we get to make it. Looks like it was great weather.

  2. I agree, it is tough to get there! It is a 12 hour drive for me, over 600 miles. But I enjoy being around that many creative Blacksmiths. SOFA does a great job hosting the event. This year was warm and sunny, the best weather in a long time! Perhaps we'll both be there next year!