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Buy Local, Build Local

I was honored when RTID was asked to partake in the Slow Food USA awards this past year. I was approached by Slow Food Charleston to design and build a trophy that this year's recipient would be presented with at the annual Legend Award. Immediately, I began sketching ideas that included rice spoons, sea creatures, magnolia flowers, and of course, the organization's logo, a snail. In the end, the design concept that was chosen by the board was one of the more challenging ideas. Additionally, our team cranked out a few pot tops to replace the knob on the lids of cast-iron dutch ovens that were given away as raffle prizes. These little snails added just the right touch and their...

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The Story of a Table

This video is one of my favorites. Not only is it a great snapshot of a project start to finish, but it also documents us making one of my favorite forged iron pieces. I like building furniture, and this piece was especially meaningful, as it was for a close family friend. When the Colarossi family approached me about building a family heirloom table, I was humbled. Us? Design and build what will be considered an heirloom piece for this family to pass down from generation to generation? Nonetheless, our team nailed it! The design was somewhat simple at first, a “C”, but the dimension and artistry was complex, and gave us the opportunity to do what we do best, forge....

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Blacksmithing?

To many, blacksmithing is an antiquated craft with no modern relevance, other than perhaps shoeing horses, which we all know is a farrier's trade. But for me, and the team here at Robert Thomas Iron Design [RTID], bringing this ancient craft back from the dead was a dream. My first major step toward achieving this goal was attending Hereford College of Arts in Hereford, England. Locally, we are happy to support and work closely with the American College of Building Arts [ACBA] in Charleston, SC. I am proud to have recent graduate and valedictorian, Tyler Bickerstaff, as part of our team, paving the way for future ACBA  interns to help us attain our vision. Utilizing our broad scope of talents in the arts, as...

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FORGED Hardware, We Don’t Screw Around: Introducing FORGED Iron Shelf Brackets

We all know that saying, “it’s the little things that make a difference,” and at Robert Thomas Iron Design, we think so too. Ever change the towel color in your bathroom? Or buy a bright red appliance for your kitchen? Small changes, like incorporating designer steel hardware, can transform the feeling of an entire room and add a sense of personal style to a space in a bold way.  At RTID, we think anything iron is awesome, and hand-forged, heavy duty shelf brackets are no exception. We are excited to introduce a new line of designer iron shelf brackets to the FORGED collection by RTID. Our collection of heavy duty shelf brackets includes traditional and simple forged metal and decorative...

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Tooling

One of the most gratifying aspects of being a blacksmith is the having the ability to make your own tools. Most of the time, we make our own tools out of necessity, but sometimes it’s just for fun. When we come up with a new design for a piece, we almost always have to make custom tooling to build it since there isn't a “forging” section in the tool department at the local hardware store.  In olden days, blacksmithing was called the “master trade” because the blacksmith was responsible for making all the tools for the other tradesmen, as well as his own. Today, the ability to make our own tools still gives us a great sense of pride. And...

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