Thursday, May 19, 2011

About Us

Jeff Dunkelberger started blacksmithing after catching the bug in early 2008.  The idea of having his own forge came in time and now Black Forest Iron Works is a home-based forge that operates on small projects for sale at several outlets carrying his work.

Jeff has studied under notable blacksmiths Elmer Roush, Doug Merkel, Mark Aspery, Gerald Boggs, Mike Tanner, George Anderton and Albin “Albie” Drzewianowski and continues studying and practicing his craft.

Jeff actively participates in several local blacksmith guilds, but the area of his trade that currently gives him the most satisfaction is working as a living-history re-enactor.  He was chosen in 2009 as the primary blacksmith for the Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s Market Fair events, held three times per year in McLean, Virginia.  During these events, Jeff demonstrates the craft to several thousand people in a typical weekend while dressed appropriately in 1771 attire and using Colonial tools and methods.  In this regard, blacksmithing is a creative outlet Jeff can share with his family since Jeff’s wife and 2 young sons also attend the fairs in period attire.

Jeff was recently asked to join the staff of the Blacksmith Shop at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens as a part-time smith demonstrating to many of the 40,000 people per week that visit the historic estate.  In August 2011, Jeff was elected to serve on the board of ABANA, the Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America, where he hopes to make a positive impact for the benefit of the wider blacksmithing community.

Jeff and his wife also recently built a log cabin in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, working weekends and vacations for nearly three years.  They now rent Chestnut Oak Lodge so others may enjoy it also.  When not blacksmithing or building, Jeff is a Services Account Executive with Dell.  He lives with his wife, their two sons and two cats in Alexandria, VA.

As anyone who knows Jeff will attest, he has a strong desire to see the growth of the trade as together all current smiths "rediscover" what the blacksmiths of old faced each day and, in the process, serve the common good by educating people about the important role blacksmiths played in the development of our country and our shared culture.  

Jeff can be reached at 703-765-3000 or at

No comments:

Post a Comment