We work with WLB Blacksmith Shop to add hand-hammered, coal-forged fireplace mantel straps, metalwork, and ironwork onto reclaimed beams. Whether it is simple metal straps, a Christmas stocking rod, corbels, or something more elaborate, our blacksmith is up to the challenge. Using age-old traditional blacksmith techniques, this real handcraft adds such nice authenticity to wood beams that were already hand-worked with an ax almost 150 years ago when pioneers settled these lands.
We have worked in partnership with a local blacksmith – Wyatt Bienfang at WLB Blacksmith Shop near Minneapolis, Minnesota for almost 15 years now. It is a great relationship where we can work through ideas together and ultimately craft some incredible work. We continue to challenge Wyatt with new designs and he continues to deliver with outstanding craftsmanship. Over the years, we’ve watched each other’s families grow and enjoyed plenty of wonderful times. Like stepping back in time, here’s a picture of his charming workshop in LeSueur, Minnesota.
I do also want to also offer a couple of other shout-outs. In 2009, our friend Steve Howell at Ballard Forge near Seattle, Washington originally created some great Greene and Greene style straps to join a pair of old 6×6 beams together. That got the metalwork on mantels ball rolling.
We’d also like to mention Doug Lockhart in Ohio who did a wonderful table base for us years ago. He is doing cookware nowadays.
Over the years, we have seen several folks following our lead. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But as an artist, I urge everyone to always respect creative work and purchase pieces from the original designers and craftspeople. This is how we make a full-time living.
We first select the right mantel and then we add metalwork to it. The actual mantel gets brought to the blacksmith shop so that the metalwork can be well-fit to the individual contours and shape of the wood.
We can help you find just the right mantel. You can browse mantel beams and mantel shelves that are already completed, or we can start from a raw beam. We have 100s of raw beams available — many of which are photographed and ready for convenient online selection.
We will draw the mantel and metalwork on the computer so that we can all make sure that the metal is properly sized and positioned and we’re all on the same page. Fixed pricing will be provided upfront so that there are no surprises.
From there, we bring our mantel to WLB Blacksmith shop so that Wyatt can do his magic. After he is done, we clean up his work and apply a final coat of finish on the entire piece. We take lots of pictures so that you can see our work before we ship.
Please contact us at email@example.com or call 612-281-9330 to discuss your specific project. (Note, we are a small mom-and-pop artisan shop. We don’t always catch the phone while working in our workshop. We do reply to emails every morning and evening. Thank you for your understanding.)