about MT forge
Mark has been blacksmithing since 1997. He tinkered around with it for several years before that and dreamed of it as a youngster. When we moved to our present home in 1992, he made the dream into a reality by building the main body of the shop which he uses today. After the building was finished and he had his basic tools gathered, he began blacksmithing in earnest and started attending a few local rendezvous as a demonstrator who also sold the items he made.
Unfortunately, his full time day job as a maintenance man in a local factory and then eventually as the supervisor/manager over the maintenance area took up too much time to allow him to expand as was his desire. But the various jobs he has worked has provided him quite an understanding of metals, machinery and mechanics. He was a diesel mechanic for a short time in our early married life, but then he switched to being a welder. He found he had an aptitude for the welding trade and went on to learn maintenance to better his job situation.
Mark then worked in maintenance, as a regular worker or as a supervisor, for 19 years until the summer of 2003 when he was able to quit his full time job as manager and go into blacksmithing full time. Much of last year was spent expanding the shop to its present size (nearly double the original) in order to have a warehouse and a shipping and painting area. We have since been working to expand our outlets and add to Mark's repertoire of items he makes to sell. Our biggest restraint is time... growing takes time... forging takes time... and living takes time.
Our name is MT (Em-Tee) Forge, not Mount or Mountain Forge. It's a play on the initials of Mark's name (M. T.) and the word empty. While he was working in the factory, the acetylene and other such tanks were marked MT when they were empty, thus was born "MT Forge". At the end of the day, his forge is "MT".
Our shop is located at our place of residence near Markle, Indiana. Our sales come through the rendezvous which we attend, a couple of local antique/collectible stores, and phone orders from our catalog & this website. There is no on-site showroom at the present time and none is planned for the future. To find out where we have our products set up and what shows we will be attending in the future, click the Shops & Shows link at the bottom of this page.
Mark has been a member of the Indiana Blacksmithing Association. This organization has been instrumental in providing opportunities to learn the blacksmithing craft and to network with other blacksmiths. He took their basic blacksmithing class back when he first joined the organization and has attended many conferences, of the IBA and other blacksmithing organizations, where he watched many blacksmiths demonstrate different techniques and styles. He has honed his forge welding skills by taking a class at Conner Prairie near Indianapolis. At Tillers International in Michigan he learned how to forge the tools used by a cooper (as well as learning a bit of coopering.) He has an unending appetite for the printed word and many of his ideas and techniques have been taken from the large variety of iron working and blacksmithing books which he keeps on his bookshelf. (And he is always on the lookout for more.) In previous years he served the IBA as Conference Chairman and Vice President.
Mark is also a member of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War Camp 17 - Champion Hill and is interested in adding some Civil War reenactments to his show schedule in the future. Presently he dresses as a civilian blacksmith from the Revolutionary War period at the rendezvous he attends. He is one of the few (that I, at least, have seen) who uses a bellows to fan the flame of his forge.
Mark also does custom work. He does this often at the rendezvous (providing he has the right metal stock with him.) It is amazing how he can take a piece of metal, heat it up, draw it out and form it into exactly what a customer has requested. WOW! And usually, with a drawing and measurements and a conversation to verify details, he can create a custom piece to a customer's specifications. Call us or email for more details. To see samples of his custom work, see the link to the "Gallery of Custom Work" below.
|Gallery of some of the custom work Mark has made.|
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