Susan C. Balentine / Nature's BeautiesSusan's joy in creating with her hands was instilled at an early age by her artistic mother, from whom she...
Chestnut Oak Forge, Inc.
Media: MetalInspired by old hardware around my family farm I built a small primitive shop and began my blacksmithing career about thirty years ago. A native of North Georgia , I now operate a shop in Brasstown , NC .
I like to make functional items for the home and hearth, primarily using traditional tools and techniques: a brick forge fired with coal, hammer and anvil. An 80-year-old power hammer, gas forge and modern equipment are used where appropriate. Mild steel is the most common material used; occasionally small amounts of copper and brass are worked. Wrought iron may be used for historical reproductions. Most of my current work is restoring European antiques and custom hardware for an architectural firm in Atlanta . Smaller pieces that are available to the public may be seen at The John C. Campbell Folk School and the Southern Highland Craft Guild shops.