The Forge


When I was seven years old I stood all day on a split rail fence in front of a blacksmith at Sturbridge village in Massachusetts fascinated with the glow of the metal, while my family went around the grounds. A dozen years had passed and my Mother asked me if I recalled the day.She told me a man wanted to teach me how to blacksmith and he was going to pay me. This was my opportunity to learn a trade while being paid.

So, in 1977 I began work in a small Blacksmith shop called the Essex Forge, in Essex Connecticut, making fire tools and andirons. I learned welding and other aspects of the trade before realizing this was something I wanted to do for my self someday.
A couple more years passed and I bought some Blacksmiths tools from a man in Wells, Vermont. I set them up in a barn behind my parents house in Weston, Vermont where I made various production pieces for a local Blacksmith, while restoring the hardware and lighting in a 200 year old farm house that my family ran as an Inn in Weston, Vermont.

   For the next seven years I proudly served in the United States Coast Guard and when I got out I found jobs in custom metal shops and even joined the steel workers union in 1988 making stone cutting tools for the granite industry. It was that job that pushed me into finally working as a Custom Blacksmith for myself in 1990 and I have been doing it ever since.
Now the owner of Custom Colonial Forge in Plainfield, Vermont, I have always wanted to specialize in custom work and colonial reproductions. I find it is important to work with my customers on style and design when creating items that meet their needs. Colonial reproductions and custom designs are created everyday as well as functional and gift items. 

  The art of Blacksmithing is interesting to me. Today my goal is to maintain a high level of quality and authenticity of the reproductions and the custom projects made. To me the piece needs to feel and look like it is made by hand. I guarantee my work and hope it brings joy to your family for generations.
Jeffrey Darling
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