Welcome to the Wareham Forge, the work of Artisan Blacksmith Darrell Markewitz of Ontario Canada. Here traditional hand forged techniques are blended with original custom designs to create distinctive objects for garden or architecture. (What is called 'wrought iron work' by some.) A specialist in the Viking Age, creating reproductions for Museums and re-enactors. Offering training courses various aspects of Metalsmithing, plus instructional DVD's.
the Wareham Forge - Artisan Blacksmith

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Main Sections

GALLERY

CUSTOM WORK

ARCHITECTURAL

for GARDENS

REPRODUCTIONS

TRAINING

IRON SMELTING

VIKING AGE

SITE INDEX

Aggressively Hand Forged
Bowls and Containers

segmented
                      urn Segmented
                      bowl bloom
                      bowl
'Bowls' as objects represent a balance:
- If considered as things that can exhibit more design than pure function, creativity can expand.
- These are large enough pieces that a wide number of forging and decorative techniques can be employed.
- They are not so large or massive that they are (often) overwelmingly time consuming to make.
- They also represent the kind of object that will be considered as much for their appearance as their end use.
- Taken together, bowls and other containers become things to be treasured, but not so precious to make them beyond the reach of most.


There is some attempt here to present pieces in chronological order.

'Segmented' Series

segmented urn
'Segmented Urn'
forged and fabricated wrought iron & copper
Fall 2008
$1200 - this item available


" The body of the urn is composed of a number of individually hand forged strips of antique wrought iron. I saw samples of the basic technique employed by the Japanese blacksmith Takayoshi Komine at a workshop / demonstration two summers past. (Taka uses the method to make subtle oil lamps employed in the Tea Ceremony.) Actual historic wrought iron has been chosen for the construction because of its excellent forging characteristics and special durability. The metal itself is already some 150 years old and should easily endure for centuries more. A fitting resting place for the memories of one past beyond us. "
For more details on the thought behind and creation of this object - Go on to a detailed description
segmented urn
offcut bowl
Offcut Bowl
Winter 2011
welded then forged mild steel plate

Offcut Bowl was created for the 'Shadowbox' show to benefit the South Grey-Bruce Literacy Council. The object is about 10 x 10 in size, standing about 3 inches deep. The individual segments are in fact off cuts left over when I was cutting up some 1/8 inch thick plate I acquired as commercial scrap. Taking a clue from a method used by Japanese artisan Takayoshi Komine, the individual segments were MIG welded together on the back, then the weld beads ground smooth. The resulting flat form was then worked hot to dish it.

More details available on 'Hammered Out Bits'.

offcut bowl
segmented bowl
Segmented Bowl 2
Winter 2011
welded then forged mild steel plate
$175 - this item available


Here a series of plates were rough cut with a torch. The individual plates are welded together, in this case with weld seams deliberately rough and applied on both the back, and visible top, surfaces. One of these seams was folded 'backwards' to create the ridge visible just off centre. Finally the attached surface was forged to the bowl shape.
24 x 19 cm, top edge 8 cm high

 
segmented 3
Segmented Bowl 3
Winter 2012
forged and welded mild steel
$200 - this item available

This smaller bowl is more true to the basic technique employed by the Japanese blacksmith Takayoshi Komin. A number of narrow but thick, uniform length bars are welded on the back and ground flush. The plate thus produced is then heavily hot dished to create the bowl form.
16 x 12 cm, top edge 9 cm high
segmented 3
segmented 4

'Points' - Segmented Bowl 4

forged and welded mild steel plate
$200 - this item available

Again a series of narrow triangular shapes retain ragged edges from torch cutting.
25 x 18 cm, top edge 15 cm high


'Lines' Series
lines 1
Knott Celtic Bowl 1
Winter 2011
patterned and forged mild steel plate

This piece served as a 'test of concept' for a new decoration method I had stumbled upon. Lines were laid on a piece of 1/8 inch thick steel plate. After forging flat, the plate was then dished using various rounding hammers and bottom forms. For this piece, the top surface was wire brushed, then sealed with satin varithane. The title is intended to be a kick back to those who 'put a knott on anything - then call it 'Celtic'.
(private collection)
lines 1
lines 3
Knott Celtic Bowl 3
Spring 2011
patterned and forged mild steel plate
$ 175 - this item available

Continues the series. On this piece, the natural fire scale surface was left after forging, but still sealed with varithane for functional use.
22 x 15 cm, top edge 10 cm
lines 3
bullseye bowl

Bulls Eye Bowl

Spring 2015
patterned and forged mild steel plate
$ 200 - this item available

More exploration of the 'lines' technique. Here there was less hammering over the lines, leaving a more textured surface
25 x 20 cm, top edge 8 cm

off centre bowl
Off Centre Bowl
Spring 2015
patterned and forged mild steel plate
$ 200 - this item available

On this piece, the lines are laid as a 'starburst' pattern, radiating from one side of the original rectangular plate. The dishing process then echoed this, creating an offset oval form. There is a small flat sprial leg under the shallow side for support.
25 x 15 cm, top edge 7 cm

deep dish bowl
Off Centre Bowl
Spring 2015
patterned and forged mild steel plate
$ 200- this item available

The lines laid here are more random in pattern. The starting plate was a pronounced lens shape, with one edge rough cut by torch. In the forging process, the shape created has a deep, flat bottom, the points curved under.
20 x 13 cm, top edge 7 cm

starburst bowl
'Starburst' Bowl
Spring 2015
patterned and forged mild steel plate

Another object using a regular 'starburst' pattern to the lines, here more symetrical. Also the use of a torch cut edge, but this time the ragged knotches smoothed before forging. The interior has been both dished in, and the bottom raised up slightly (ensuring a stable base).
about 30 x 20 cm, top edge 5 cm
(private collection)

green bowl
Green Lines Bowl
Fall 2015
patterned and forged mild steel plate, paint
$ 200 - this item available

A number of elements within this series continues : torch cut edges, decorative lines flattened, dishing and raising plate. An extra addition here is the use of 'dry rub' paint. A dark green paint was rubbed over the textured surface, then wiped clean. This results in subtle colour, mainly caught in the lines and forge marks.
26 x 21 cm, top edge 8 cm


'Bloomery' Series

Also seen with the Bloomery Iron objects.
offering bowl
Offering Bowl
Fall 2008
forged bloomery iron

'Offering Bowl' is forged from part of the 'Resurection' Bloom made at in 2005.
I envisioned creating a bowl like form that was soild in the centre but preserved the ragged edges of the natural bloom along the margins. Fragments of the bloom were welded into a thin plate, roughly 8 inches long by about 4 wide and roughly 1/8 thick. There was some splintering and cracking in the centre of the plate, specifically retained to show the origins of the material. The plate was forged with ball peens into a deep dishing form. This created the final partial sphere shape.

More Details available on 'Hammered Out Bits'
(Purchased for use in a feature film)

offering bowl
bloom bowl 2

Bloom Bowl 2
Summer 2011
forged bloomery iron

The parent bloom was created at the 2005 Smeltfest event. The metal itself was made from ore smelted using a direct reduction furnace based on those from the Viking Age.
The original bloom mass was quartered by hot cutting. This section was flattened under the air hammer, working at welding temperature. Only one compaction series was undertaken, intentionally to allow cracks and fissures to develop along the margins of the plate. The roughly rectangular plate was then dished hot to create the bowl's shape. The inner surface was roughly polished with a flap sanding disk. The outer surface was given a fast wire brush to remove any loose scale. To finish, the piece was sealed with a spray matte varathane.
(Purchased for use in a feature film)

 
T2T bowl
Offering Bowl 2 / Turf to Tools
Summer 2014
forged bloomery iron

The parent bloom was created as part of the Turf to Tools 1 project at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop (Lumsden, Scotland).
The forge set up and equipment at SSW was at best mininmal. As well, the coal available was not the best (high sulphur content). As a result, the forge weld from the original consolodation compaction and fold was not as secure as I had hoped. In the end this resulted in the 'double layer' effect during the dishing phase of the forging.
(In the collection of the Scottish Sculpture Workshop)
T2T bowl
bloom bowl 4
Bloom Bowl 4
August 2014
forged bloomery iron
$ 800 - this item available

The starting iron bloom was produced in smelt #24, June 2007. The hemi-spherical mass was first flattened to a plate, with the ragged edges and textures of the parent bloom retained. For a full description of the complex creation process of this object, see the blog post.
15 x 12 cm, top edge 7 cm high
bloom bowl 4



Who is Darrell Markewitz?

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Unless otherwise indicated :
All text and photographs Darrell Markewitz, the Wareham Forge.