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The Fabulous Fleece Company Blog

Forging Fire Pipes with Arthur Purdy

After too long an absence our Flordon Firepipes are once again back online for sale, and just in time as the colder months creep forward and folk are looking for that special Christmas present. After the retirement of our original blacksmith it took some time to find another who was willing to take on the task, but we have and now they are forged by Athur Purdy, a young blacksmith from North Norfolk.

Arthur had wanted to forge from a very early age and on leaving school managed to persuade the local Holkham forge to take him on as an apprentice. There he learnt the basic skills which allowed him to move to Hereford to attend the Collage for a two year diploma course. He then moved home to a workshop on the family run garden centre where he started his business by producing plant supports and garden furniture.

Eleven years on and Arthur is as busy as ever, demonstrating at agricultural shows and selling at craft fairs, he specialises in Repoussé and chasing. Repoussé is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in low relief. Chasing is a similar technique in which the piece is hammered on the front side, sinking the metal. The two techniques are often used in conjunction.

Either way his workshop is adorned by the most striking and beautiful examples of his work, and walking around it is a fascinating way to while away time on a cold afternoon in October, with the roar of the forge and the rhythmic sound of hammer on metal in the background its really quite enchanting.

Lucy x

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