Forging the Iron

Campaign Created by: Vaughn Terpack
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The funds from this campaign will be received by Vaughn Terpack.

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Goal : $1,100

Raised : $200

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They say that desperate times call for desperate measures, but I won't claim that my times are desperate quite yet.  Rather, let us just say that I've reached a point where I need to take my business to the next level and could really use your help to do it.

When I was but a wee lad some 30 years ago, I met a gentleman who was giving a blacksmithing demonstration and it stuck with me.   Over the years, I would continue to practice the art of the  blacksmith in my spare time.  Not once over the ensuing decades would I have guessed that that chance meeting would save my bacon, but it did.  Looking back, I wonder just how much of it was "chance"!

In short, I hurt my back at work and that injury slowly built up into more and more.  The docs said it was just a pinched muscle and a little stretching would fix me right up.  Ha!  Years have passed since that fateful day, and all the stretching in the world hasn't remedied the problem.

Finding it progressively harder to get along, I eventually found myself out of work, too.  Bosses don't much care for employees that are hobbling around, and fewer still want to hire a guy that has a pre-existing issue.  Thankfully, God had laid a path before me and I didn't even realize it.

On a lark, I decided to list some of my hand-forged ironwork on Etsy to see if maybe I could raise a few dollars just until I found another job.  Five years later, I'm still listing things on Etsy and I've never been happier.  While my back still gives me fits on most days, and there have times when simply walking is a chore, being my own boss and being able to work at my own pace has been a true blessing.  More than that, though, I've been able to share my ironwork with people all over the world!

From Singapore to Sweden, Canada to New Zealand, I have sent my ironwork all over this magnificent planet.  I have even sent pieces to Israel.  

Try as I might, I can find no words to describe just how it feels to know that someone in a far off land was able to see my work through the power of the internet.... and decided that they'd like a bit of it for themselves.  That's a very big honor and I'm grateful.

Which brings me to the matter at hand.

My little operation, Three Rivers Forge, has always been just me and my hammer.... and I'm wearing out physically, as you might imagine.  I need to add some tooling to the shop to act as the apprentices that blacksmith shops used to have aplenty.   Even the best of men can only swing a hammer so much!

In order to grow the business, offering new and interesting pieces as well as speeding up production to remain competitive, I need to add a hydraulic forging press to the shop.  Specifically, I've selected the Crain Forging Press because it acts both as a hydraulic press and a power hammer, giving you two tools in one.  With limited room in my cramped little shop, getting the most out of every square foot is important, and the Crain Forging Press offers the most bang for the buck.  (crainpress.com)

Long story short, I love being a blacksmith and bringing hand-forged iron back to the forefront of people's mind.  I believe that we should buy quality, surrounding ourselves with the best we can afford.  I call it "art in the everyday", the idea that we are made better not by having a lot of stuff, but by having quality at every turn.  

There is an old saying that "the clothes make the man", meaning that a nice suit and tie will make you feel better about yourself and people will treat you better when they see you.  The older I get, the more I appreciate that maxim, but I have also see that it applies to everything we surround ourselves with.  As quality clothing makes you feel better and be more successful, so too can quality products in your home.

What I try to do here at Three Rivers Forge is bring that idea back to the mainstream by offering items that will last for generations.  Even if it's something as simple as a hook to hang your hat on, I want folks to understand that what I offer can be passed down to their grandkids.  The Iron Abides, I like to say.  Maybe I should put that on the next t-shirt design!

Yes, you can buy a chintzy mass-produced bottle opener at any corner store.  But when you buy a custom-made bottle opener from your local blacksmith, you're doing so much more than simply popping the top off your drink.  I believe that we, as a society, have forgotten that.

The Crain Forging Press will allow me to work faster, making products more economical, and also offer even more designs.

Thank you for your time and support.

 

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