Blacksmith at Fort Vancouver, WashingtonForgeThe devil cornered

Going hammer and tongs inside George Rousis' blacksmithing studio

Outside a weathered house on Woodland Avenue, the clang of metal striking metal reverberates up and down your spine as you approach the front door. You wonder if the man inside will hear you knock. You look at the intricately sculpted iron handle, and the sounds make sense.

Beyond the door is the studio of George Rousis, metalsmith. The space is messy, a little ramshackle, but it is also a place where fine things are made. Some of his bronze, iron and copper statues are the size of a wedding ring. Others are as large as the entryway gates he fashioned for the Children's Garden at the Kansas City Community Garden.

In the bowels of his studio, Rousis could pass for a Vulcan working his forge: sturdy from years of swinging hammers, his beard full enough to be a fire hazard. He says wearing a kilt has cured his back pain, but he also needs to be able to move easily. He's forever dropping things, dashing from one spot in the studio to the next, his trade a business timed in swiftly passing seconds.

Curator oversees a unique menagerie of bygone technology

  1. Horseshoes, plowshares, branding irons, tools and wagon wheels were always in demand. Many times, a farmer would learn the trade for his own personal needs, as well as providing for the blacksmithing needs of his surrounding neighbors, especially when 
  2. a working blacksmith shop, a model railroad club, and various other storehouses of historical trivia. “We always say our collection is over 20,000 pieces, but we'll never know the exact count,” Jaques said. “We have nuts and bolts and blacksmith's
  3. I'm a blacksmith. Oh.” Mostly though, he gets asked if he makes horse shoes. He doesn't. At Loughborough, Master Burrell makes tools, the most beautiful handcrafted tools you have ever seen, and Mr Burrell crafts whatever you'd like him to – the more 

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