Gibson’s Studio is pleased to showcase Blacksmith and Artist Bennett Life. Bennett is a self-taught Blacksmith with a passion for keeping the art and history of blacksmithing alive. Specializing in a variety of custom handmade metal designs that include furniture, decorative ironworks, fireplace tools, knives, hardware, hanging pot racks and more. Many of Bennett’s authentic artwork and creations are available for purchase at Gibson’s or by custom order.
Join us at Gibson’s Studio for an expert forging demonstration by Blacksmith and Artist Bennett Life. Discover the lost art of Blacksmithing and the skill set required to create tools and objects by heating steel to the perfect temperature. Bennett is available to answer your questions about blacksmithing during his demonstration. The blacksmith demonstration takes place at Gibson’s outdoor covered workshop located on the 3rd floor. Chairs are available. An indoor window view is also available.
About the Artist
When Bennett was 14, he read a book in the Foxfire series and came across a chapter describing how blacksmithing was first introduced into Appalachia back in the 1800s. He was intrigued by the important role the blacksmith played in the lives and culture of the Appalachian people. Not only did they do all the metal work, but at times had to fill different roles such as dentist and veterinarian. By the 60s and 70s, blacksmithing in America had almost vanished. There was no one around to teach Bennett so he taught himself by reading books, watching internet videos, and making many, many mistakes. It wasn’t long before he fell in love with metal work and knew he wanted to become a blacksmith. His parents had a small building constructed on their property in West Virginia and Bennett built a large forge that he continued to modify as his work increased. He began selling his creations at local art shows and fairs. His skills and interests continued to grow as he produced many variations of knives, fireplace tools, decorative ironworks, hardware, hanging pot racks, and furniture. He also began fulfilling custom orders under his company name Life’s Forge. Recently Bennett was featured in West Virginia South, a popular magazine that celebrates the Appalachian culture and life. Bennett has chosen to make blacksmithing his life’s work, bring back this amazing art and keep a vital part of our American history alive.
Gibson’s Studio is located at The Art Colony Shops on Alabama Row.