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Lyle Poulin: Hand-Forge

The Modern Blacksmith: Tradition, Tools and Technique

Website: Hand Forge

Whatever happened to the village blacksmith? Not so long ago, villages were organized around trade districts, and each one had a blacksmith shop. Traditionally the blacksmith shaped hot metal on the anvil for the village's many needs: from horseshoes, wheels, and gates to tools and weapons. Though our needs, wants, and fashions have evolved since then, the fundamentals of forging metal are largely unchanged. Come and learn about the work of the modern blacksmith in a historical context. We'll explore the diversity and evolution of the blacksmith’s various tools and techniques through the ages, including a look at the future potential of metal work at the intersection of old craft and modern technology.

A full-time metalsmith living in Portland, Oregon, Poulin was raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he worked in his family’s metal shop from the age of eleven on. He has an eclectic portfolio, with a foundation in custom architectural ironwork. A self-taught bladesmith and jeweler, he currently specializes in jewelry, blades, and forged implements for the home. He is the resident artist at Hand Forge and is an active member of CMAG, Portland’s Creative Metal Arts Guild.