May 18, 2015
Grant Haverstock is a blacksmith who owns Firehouse Ironworks, a
blacksmithing business in Nova Scotia, Canada. He forges
ornamental architectural ironwork as well as teaches blacksmithing
classes to the public, which is the only blacksmith training
facility of it’s kind in Eastern Canada. Grant is also the
president of the Cape Breton Blacksmithing Association (CBBA), a
non-profit organization that has over 50 members. CBBA will
be hosting CanIronX, the largest Canadian blacksmithing conference,
in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada.
What We Talked About
- Grant makes both architectural and
sculptural pieces in his shop, his preference would be to have
customers asking for sculptural gates that call for the traditional
blacksmithing techniques, such as the organic twisting vines with
forge welded leaves.
- When I asked Grant what
blacksmith he would like to spend a day with, he said Philip
Simmons. Philip Simmons was a prolific blacksmith who spent
78 years producing work in the South, Charleston, South
Carolina. He died on 2009. Grant has nominated Phillip
several times for the ABANA Alex Bealer Award though he has never
- Grant was on the board
of directors of ABANA for the year of 2013. He wanted to get
ABANA to be more involved in the Canadian blacksmithing efforts
while he was there.
- Grant has a cool old belt driven
rivet forge from the early 1900’s. He ended up buying it from
a little old darling lady that still had it from when her husband
was alive. She called Grant and asked if he would be
interested in it.
- Grant started as a
hobby blacksmith back in the 1980’s. He finally ended up
turning his hobby into a career in 2010 because he needed the
creative outlet in what he was doing.
- CanIronX is the largest
Canadian blacksmithing event that is held every other year.
This year Grant and the CBBA (Cape Breton Blacksmiths Association)
is hosting the conference in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on July 2nd
through July 5th. The venue is a resort called the Inverary
Resort, a waterfront property situated on the Bras d’Or Lake.
The demonstration tents will be on the sandy beach of the
lake. Lobster, beer and bonfires at night.
- CanIronX will have 3 to
4 larger demo tents and 8 to 10 smaller ones for hands-on/teaching
blacksmithing skills. Lorelei Simms will be teaching a
beginners course for the youth.
- The other demonstrators include Ian
Hope-Simpson, Zeevik Gottleib, Uri Hofi, Mark Aspery and Albert
Paley will be lecturing.
- Grant mentions that the CBBA has
worked out a promotional discount with Air Canada and West Jet for
the conference, email them through the CanIron website to receive
the promo code for the discount (but you have to be registered for
the conference first).
A Big Thank You to today’s sponsor – Cape Breton Blacksmiths
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