Blacksmithing Mentor and Remarkable Human Being: Tom Staley

Tom Staley at his first Florida forge outside George Ferrara's workshop in MacIntosh Florida, mid '80s.

Tom Staley at the forge, mid 1980s, Macintosh Florida

Tom Staley got me started in blacksmithing. I met Tom shortly after moving to Gainesville. He saw that I played clawhammer style banjo and introduced me to the old time music scene. I saw that he had a beautiful Swedish anvil and got him to tell me stories about blacksmithing. He also showed me how to start a coal fire in a forge. We married a couple of years later (almost ruining a great friendship – but that’s another story). I spent a lot of time at the forge doing the grunt work and observing the smith at his trade. After we split up, after I moved to Pennsylvania I found that I knew enough to buy good equipment and start my own personal journey of discovery with wrought iron. Thank you Tom. RIP.

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