Blacksmith Biography:

I first became inspired to learn the blacksmith’s craft in 1986 and it progressed from hobby-level to a part time pursuit and then to becoming a full time occupation in l997.

Prior to 1986, I spent twenty years as a journeyman mechanic. As a mechanic with welding skills, I was also working with iron, tools and fire and so I consider myself as having been a smith all of my working life. It was the blacksmiths that were trained to be mechanics when the automobile became popular at the turn of the century.

My training as a blacksmith over the years included numerous workshops, national conferences and recently, a year studying and working with Edwardian and Victorian architecture in England and Ireland. Being a member of the Vancouver Island Blacksmithing association and the Artists Blacksmith Association of North America for a long time was also highly educational.

My experience in this craft covers a fairly broad cross section. Interior hardware includes, fireplace tools and accessories, tables, pot racks, clothing hooks, towel racks and candle holders. Outside items that I am experienced in, include colonial door hardware, tables, benches, gates, railings and horse-drawn, buggy hardware.

My artwork pieces include sculpted dragons and repoussé sun bursts.

Michael Shpeley