This blog post and its associated content were originally published in 2014. Some of the information presented below may no longer be valid.
You probably don’t know too many blacksmiths. There aren’t a lot of them around. However, before the Industrial Revolution, every town had a blacksmith or two or three. Now, your familiarity with blacksmiths and their trade most likely stems from movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” where Will Turner was a master craftsman of swords.
Red Tail Forge Works is a blacksmith shop owned and operated by Anthony Martin, who has been a blacksmith for over 20 years. Like most trades or art forms, the best way to learn is by apprenticeship. Anthony fell in love with the art of blacksmithing at an event where a blacksmith was practicing his craft in front of a crowd. Anthony walked up and asked to learn, which ignited a five-year apprenticeship that forged him into a talented blacksmith.
Today, the blacksmith trade exists in many different forms that utilize various technological advancements, but Anthony strives to remain a purist. He heats the unformed metal with coal and hammers out the details on his anvils. Most of his tools were themselves forged in the early 19th-20th Centuries, including his anvil that was created in 1817.
Anthony’s dedication to forming his creations by what some might call the “hard way” has helped him to hammer out enormous respect from Civil War reenactment groups and anyone who is looking for truly original and unique metalwork; something that is nearly impossible to find otherwise. Red Tail Forge Works is also the official blacksmith of the TV show “A Taste of History” with Chef Walter Staib. If you watch Chef Staib’s show, you will be able to spot Anthony’s metalwork.
Tennessee Captured met Anthony Martin at the Bell Buckle Downtown Show. We found Anthony with his anvil and coals, hammering out a metal leaf for a crowd of people who were awe-inspired by the amount of effort and detail that goes into his creations. He travels to shows like Bell Buckle’s not only to promote his work but to educate people on the history of his trade, and in our opinion he is actually quite entertaining to watch live!
Since the Bell Buckle Downtown Show, we have gotten to know Anthony a little more. He operates his business with a high level of integrity and extreme attention to detail. He can forge pretty much anything you can dream up, or you can browse his website and contact him to purchase something that catches your eye. Given the nature of Anthony’s work, no two pieces will ever be identical. Every metal masterpiece is truly one of a kind.
So, if you are looking for an original work of art that no one else will have, whether it be a fireplace hearth, a knife, or something you’ve envisioned, contact Red Tail Forge Works and Anthony will forge a custom work just for you.