Heather Black

About Heather Black

Video: Artist of Iron

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ALGOMA, Miss. (WCBI)-In history when settlers wanted to establish a town they would first look for a great water source and then find a blacksmith to help with town repairs. Since the Industrial Revolution blacksmiths and their hand-made crafts are becoming more rare.

This is a scene reminiscent of a time when most household items were created and repaired by a blacksmith.

While Richey Crew isn’t a blacksmith by trade he does spend his spare time making unique masterpieces.

Richey learned the trade from his grandfather, who was a blacksmith in the 1800s in order to make a living, but being a blacksmith in today’s age is usually just a hobby.

“Couldn’t go to Wal-mart and pick up something. You couldn’t call the factory and tell them you wanted something . If you needed a spoon you had to go down to the blacksmith shop. If something was broke you had to go to the blacksmith shop,” says Richey Crew.

Growing up on a farm, Richey dabbled in the art of blacksmith as a boy, but did not become serious about the craft until recent years.

“I had done some of it like I say since I was a kid, but begin to learn about that time really about the old way two hundred years ago or a thousand years ago it was done the same way. From Roman times all the way up and even beyond,” says Crew.

Richey creates masterpieces such as rings, tomahawks and spoons, but his top request is also his most unique.

“Railroad spike knives. I make a lot, that’s my busiest thing knives. I never considered myself a knife maker,” says Crew.

In only an hour Richey can take this old railroad nail and turn it from this into this.

Blacksmiths were mentioned throughout history, but the first mention of the ironsmith can be traced back to the Bible.

“They talked about the stone age and the bronze age and iron age, but in the Bible it says Tubal-cain was Adam’s grandson and he was a Blacksmith,” says Crew.

After years of practice Richey says he still hasn’t perfected his craft.

“I haven’t got the hang of it yet. Mr. Francis Witaker said the craft is long so get busy and after 20 or 30 years he said he was just beginning to learn,” says Crew.

Richey likes to create his masterpieces from old scrap metal which gives it even more character.