Hand-forged decorative and ornamental wrought iron

Black Bear Forge

Hand-forged custom iron from the blacksmith shop

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Black Bear Forge

Black Bear Forge

April 2018

When I retired from the Fire Department in 2014 I was naturally concerned about having enough business to make running a small blacksmith shop successfully.  Well, Thanks to all of my wonderful customers, that has never been a problem.   The truth is business has been so good and I have so many pending orders the whole thing is getting a bit overwhelming.  So the time has come to start limiting the influx of new orders.  

While I have no plans on stopping my work in the shop, there is a need to make some changes so that I can keep better control of the volume of orders.  With that in mind I will be eliminating most or all of the shopping cart functions on the web site.  I have always made items to order and accepted an unlimited number of orders.  As a result I am finding myself more than 4 months out on completing new orders.  By shutting down the ordering system as it stands now I hope to get the wait time back down to a reasonable time frame.  

The new system will be primarily based on finished products that are available and ready to ship.  I will be using my Etsy shop at http://www.blackbearforge.etsy.com to list these items as they become available.  Most of the things I currently offer will be listed in the Etsy shop as they become available.  So check often for the items you are looking for.  Since I know not everyone will be able to visit the Etsy shop at just the right time to get what they want, I will also be setting up a waiting list.  This will be an unpaid no obligation list just to secure your place in the queue.  Once I am ready to take on your project I will contact you to confirm that you are still interested and to work out the details.  The waiting list is not setup yet, so please be patient.

Favoring traditional blacksmithing techniques, we work primarily by hand with modern mild steel. This type of work is commonly referred to as wrought iron; however, wrought iron more correctly describes a softer type of iron used over a hundred years ago. Real wrought iron however is no longer manufactured in any quantity.  In most cases the use of mild steel results in a higher-quality, longer-lasting product.

If you would like to provide support Black Bear Forge in the form of a gratuity or donation you may do so at 


For a look at blacksmithing and to see how I work in the shop visit my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/blackbearforge

For items that are completed and ready to ship, please visit my Etsy shop 

John Switzer
Janet Rivera Switzer
  Site last updated on: 04/05/2018