As many of you know who have followed us for some time, our focus has always been to find unique makers, those with a passion for their craft and a dedication to quality. The more hand-made, one-of-a-kind products I can find, the better.
Many of you also know, sharing information on those makers is as important to me as the particulars of the item itself. I believe that knowing more about that artist, his/her concept and process makes a stronger affinity with their brand and you find a greater value in your selection.
From the onset of this blog, my goal was to use this medium to better connect you to the cool makers I’ve come to know. And it was a no-brainer to me that Jesse Savage had to be the first.
Jesse creates hand forged bottle openers using old tools from his home in Vermont, so no two are exactly alike.
Old tools? Blacksmith artist? One-of-a kind? TOTALLY MY KIND OF MAKER! You can check out some of his pieces here.
As you can see in Jesse’s responses below, he is a guy seemingly from a bygone era. I dig that too.
Boyd: Tell us about your craft.
Jesse: Blacksmithing consists of working iron and steel using a fire, hammer, tongs, and anvil to create custom objects out of metal. Modern blacksmiths also use power hammers, forging presses, assorted power tools, punches, chisels, and top and bottom tools to cut, shape, flatten, weld or forge the iron into the desired shape.
Boyd: How did you begin this work? And when was this?
Jesse: I was collecting old tools and after finding an anvil in 2009, I began to try to smith. I started by apprenticing with local Vermont blacksmith, Kevin Mulholland, in 2010 and have been doing it ever since.
Boyd: What do you find most challenging when it comes to your work?
Jesse: Finding the time to work and finish everything that I want to take on is what is always the most challenging.
Boyd: I can totally relate to that. It seems every time I near the end of a project or idea, I have about 20 others I’d like to tackle.
Boyd: When I work on some of my hobbies like woodworking, I often listen to music. For instance when I built out the shop, it seems Chris Stapleton helped me build it. When working, do you listen to any music?
Jesse: I listen to a lot of music. Anything from Tom Waits, GoGol Bordello, Dropkick Murphys’ or the Scottish bagpipes may be playing in the forge as I work.
Boyd: One of my favorite things is to scour Instagram for inspiration and new ideas. That is, in fact, where I first found you. Do you have any new things you are working on?
Jesse: I am always experimenting with new ideas and techniques. Lately, I’ve been working on a line of hand-forged axes.
Boyd: Yep, that is exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe we can talk about that for the future.
Any other unique, obscure or maybe odd talents?
Jesse: I am a passionate about history and a collector of antiques and antiquarian books. If I wasn’t doing this, I would love to be an antique tool dealer.
Boyd: What is one of your favorite artisans that we should check out?
Jesse: I’d recommend checking out Vermont boat builder Keith Mitchell: @shipwrightskills on Instagram.
Always learning, always growing, always making more connections. I found Jesse a few years ago, and he is proof positive that in our quest to find new products, we gain more than just simply bottle openers. Check out Jesse’s Instagram at @JesseSavageBlacksmith
Who are some of your favorite artisans I need to know about? Better question, what have you done to promote their craft to others?