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Historical Blacksmithing in Texas

The Texas Forge Review

by Richard Boswell

Once upon a time, or so the story goes, magic happens.....and the story of the Texas Blacksmithing rebirth may be one of those instances. I was privileged to hear the story from several of the smiths who were part of that moment at the Fall Forge Fest in Oldenburg featuring Frank Turley in 2006.

Wendel Broussard and Joe Pehoski were there in 1982 and in 2006. Wendel has loaned me a file folder of old newsletters published from 1982 thru 1988 called The Forge Review. Texas was added to the title in 1987. The collection begins with Vol II in July 1982 and was written and published with diligent heart by Don Morelock of Brownwood. This issue feature several articles by Roy Bellows and an announcement from Joe Pehoski about an upcoming demo at his shop in Salado. The first demo was also held there in March with 23 attending.

The special announcement was for a special workshop in October at the Salado Smithery featuring none other but legendary Francis Whitaker from Colorado. In Vol III we learn that a dozen people attended for the 5 day class. The same issue continues with a report from Doug Garey who attended a six week course in Santa Fe under Frank Turley. Next we find Joe Pehoski reporting on the June visit and tour by Master Smith “Freddie” Albert Haberman. The 36 hour visit was enjoyed by Roy Bellows, the Pehoskis, the Morelocks, and Byron and Bess Wehner. This same volume included a newspaper article on the first Annual Ingram Hammerfest in August.

Vol IV in the Winter of 1983 featured an article by Roy Bellows and George Holiday about the Francis Whitaker Workshop. It was noted that his first Workshop was in Texas in 1980 at Peaceable Kingdom School near Navasota where Joe Pehoski was resident Blacksmith and that Joe had previously studied with Francis.

I have posted the collection from Wendell, which documents the creation and transition from a loose mailing list otf Texans to an organization that birthed todays blacksmith groups in Texas. I am sure you will agree they make an excellent compliment to our great archive of The HABA Letter which Dave Koenig has so diligently enabled.

Thank you Don and Debbie Morelock for all those years of publishing, and to Perry Cann who completed the transition to The Texas Blacksmith Association - TABA, with the April 1988 edition.

The Texas Forge Review

The Forge Review
The Texas Forge Review

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Last updates were on March 04, 2007

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