Tuesday, May 1, 2012

About Us

We are a husband and wife team, doing our best to explore our creative selves while at the same time raising two active young boys and working professionally.

Jeff started blacksmithing after catching the bug in early 2008. The idea of having his own forge came in time and now has 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, Nol Putnam, Gerald BoggsMike Tanner, George Anderton and Albin “Albie” Drzewianowski and continues studying and practicing his craft.  Jeff also actively participates in his local blacksmith guild.

Jeff 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, we demonstrate the craft to several thousand people in a typical weekend while dressed appropriately in 1771 attire and using Colonial tools and methods.

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.

Caitlin's love of photography started in college, as she studied journalism and communication arts. She's continued to take photos over the years and has recently begun exploring nature photography, perhaps due to all the flowers and vegetables in our own yard! Her photos have been received critical acclaim from the Washington Gardener magazine, The Gardeners of America, and Huntley Meadows Park.

We live in Alexandria, Virginia, surrounded by as much vegetable and flower gardens as we can cram into our little space. We have 15 raised beds in our yard and enjoy the full cycle from seed to compost and back again.

We also recently built a log cabin in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley which we now rent as Chestnut Oak Lodge so others may enjoy it also.

We can be reached at 703-765-3000 or at inquiries@blackforestartworks.com.

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