Thursday, August 22, 2013

Elmer Roush Workshops

Taken from the OABA Summer Newsletter:


Elmer Roush has been operating a full time black- smithing business since 1987.
His work has included specialized tools, 18th century style hardware, traditional and contemporary architectural work and a production line of candle holders, letter openers and fireplace tools.  Today he pursues his interest in understanding how the skilled smiths of our past made the precisely forged implements for the trades.

Elmer began blacksmithing in 1970 and was self-taught for six years, after which he attended workshops at Arrowmont School of Crafts, Haystack School of Crafts and the John C.Campbell Folk School. He has also studied blacksmithing in what was Czechoslovakia under Master smith Vaclav Jaros.

Elmer has taught blacksmithing at a number of schools including Peters Valley, Touchstone,
Appalachian Center for Crafts, and the John C. Campbell Folk School. He assisted in setting up the Cearta Inneona blacksmithing school in Ireland in 1999 and was head instructor and acting CEO for the school for a year. Elmer has demonstrated widely at local and state blacksmithing conferences across America and made a trip to the yearly blacksmiths gathering near Brisbane in Australia in 2001 to teach and demonstrate. He was a studio monitor at the Haystack School of Crafts and a resident artist at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina for eight years up to 2002.

Elmer recreates tools and implements using the time proven technologies that craftsmen from the earliest metal working period of our history would easily recognize. If a metal worker from ancient Babylon was time shifted into Elmer’s forge he would have no difficulty in recognizing most of the equipment (*) and would surely delight in the improvements.

By breathing new life into these old metal craftsmen’s techniques Elmer is helping to preserve our metal working heritage that modern society is so dependent upon but yet has largely taken for granted and forgotten. Besides his products appealing to preservation and re-enactment groups and societies, there are interior designers, architects and home builders
who will also want to enhance and enrich their environments with these outstanding items and by so doing introduce intriguing and beautiful historical artifacts to a new generation who would other-wise only get access to them in museum showcases.

Viking Age Lock replica (see : Locks )
We will be holding the event at the Norwood Fairgrounds.
On the Saturday, Elmer will be giving a demonstration. Some of the things Elmer may be
demonstrating include:
10th century style Viking padlock,
belt axe and/or spear head;
socketed arrow head;
colonial period cooking utensils and tools;
wrought iron;
charcoal making;
moving steel with a hand hammer.
Nominal fee of $20.

'Viking Age' Axe (see : Axes )
On the Sunday and Monday, he will be leading a workshop, making 10th century-style Viking pad- locks and 10th century-style dividers.
Members are encouraged to bring their own forges, but don't worry if you don't have your own, there will be plenty to spare. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged to attend. You are guaranteed to learn a lot about blacksmithing, both the specifics of how to make period-authentic pieces and general techniques.
Targeted fee of $75 per day.

Contact Mick Smith ASAP to register for the workshop.
Camping is available at the fairgrounds, $15 per day, showers are available.

See more of Elmer’s work at:

President: Mick Smith 
RR 3 6723 Jones Baseline, 
Fergus ON N1M 2W4 
(519) 843-6655  

Note to Readers:

I do not know Elmer Roush, or his work, personally.

The demonstration certainly represents a good opportunity, and a one day workshop for only $75 is certainly good value.
Norwood is about 20 minutes drive east of Peterborough, on Highway 7.

The work on the Viking Age locks looks quite good (from the web site). The axe work looks more modern in finish. The better axes are the various Settlement Period ones.

(*)  For the serious history people reading:
Babylon - as an ancient centre, traces its history from roughly 3000 BC to about 1000 + BC.
This places it as a primary BRONZE working culture. Iron use (human smelted iron) does enter use about the same range. It is only by the end of the Babylonian culture that this metal may have seen some use.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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