James Hovanec will demonstrate blacksmithing at Berea Arts Fest (photos)

Annual Berea Arts Fest. "When you heat it, you can move it around. It makes very unique pieces. A lot of the pieces have a sound; they ring."

In adulthood, he grew more interested in metalwork by taking his family to Hale Farm and Village and watching the blacksmith there.

At Hovanec's day job, he heats and makes a different substance: chocolate. The former chef works at the Malley's factory in Brook Park.

In his spare time, he toils in a shop behind the house, running what he calls The Grindstone Forge in honor of Berea's historic fame for quarrying. He forges jewelry, pendants, candle holders, bowls, sculptures and nature art, from mushrooms to planets.

His work sells for anything from $4.50 to $100 or more. It runs up to 70 pounds or more. Like many vendors at the Arts Fest, he takes custom orders.

Hovanec works mostly with found steel, copper and aluminum. At home, he mainly uses a coal-heated forge. Smithing throughout the Arts Fest, he'll use a propane forge instead to avoid getting soot on other people or on their art.

The world's best kitchen knives are hand forged in Olympia

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  2. I took a two week class in hand forging and I was hooked." "I came home and borrowed an anvil from a friend of mine and built a little, funky propane forge in my garage and found some old leaf springs and started pounding on steel in my garage," Kramer 
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