by Richard Sheppard


  An artisan blacksmith truly has the awesome joy of participating in a variety of possibilities in their work. There are many fields of work and different tasks for every project. One is never stuck doing the same things day after day. For example: new clients are always just around the corner. You must know how to sell your work. Then you must do the research in order to provide the customer with the proper period or style for their estate, i.e., colonial, Victorian, modern, etc., or general project. One of the most important selling points of a project is being able to define the need, then invent and describe the solution, and be able to submit detailed drawings for the approval of the customer. If the client already has an idea as to what they want, you also have to be able to interpret those ideas and be able to artistically provide the proof in which they can see their dreams and visions realized. Sometimes samples are necessary and at other times your previous jobs can sell the next job for you. This is why you should always have a portfolio of previous projects. High end projects are never a problem when clients see your expertise. People who truly want quality work are always willing to pay the price for a job well done.

  Recently, I was asked to come up with a design for a light in a wine cellar. The light was to hang over a table I had made for the customer. The project would need to be mounted (on a stone wall), in such a way that the light could swivel. After much thought and research I came up with the following design. (Reference Drawing) The light only weighs 3 and 3/4 pounds and the bracket weighs 4 and 1/2 pounds. The metal for the light is a 20 gauge steel which I purchased at TSC (Tractor Supply Store). *This is a much better way to get metal instead of having to buy 4 X 8 ft. sheets at the steel supply store! The metal comes in 24 X 24 sheets and is very soft, bright metal with no scale, and wonderful to work with. The glass for the light was purchased in Paden City, WV. The glass plant there is fantastic and they are very accommodating. Any color you want is available at .91 cents per pound. I always use porcelain light sockets for safety reasons. I do all my own wiring on the light itself and the customer gets a qualified electrician to connect the finished product. The metal for the bracket is just standard stock material.





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