>
Please Click on Picture
to Enlarge.
Please Click on Picture
to Enlarge.
Please Click on Picture
to Enlarge.
>
Welcome to Flatlander Forge

      Flatlander Forge is the passion (and one man operation!) of a grain farmer, located in the Southwest part of the province of Saskatchewan, the heart of the great Canadian Prairies.

      Using the time-honored tools and techniques of the blacksmith, I create mainly traditionally based hand-forged items for the home, garden and yard. Though I do offer a couple of standard items, most of my work is done on a "one off" basis. I accept commissions, and work with my clients to produce in iron, what they "see "in their minds. I try not to repeat myself, and continually strive to do the best work I can.

      My work has consisted of small items, ranging from candle holders and door knockers, to kitchen pot racks, utensils, wine racks, BBQ tools, fireplace tools, hinges and hasps and all sorts of other things for use around the home. I am also starting to produce furniture.

      I would be happy to work with you, in the creation of something unique just for you!

D.M. DICKIE - Blacksmith
The Shop
Products
     New Products

      My blacksmith shop is located in an old un-insulated wooden granary, and is about 12' X 14' in size. I chose this abandoned building to be my 'temporary ' shop because it had a concrete floor, about 10 years ago. Though old-time blacksmith shops often had wood floors, I was concerned that there was a greater potential for a fire, and felt that the concrete floor would be safer. So far, I have not had any fires, other than in the forge and wood stove.

      Because I came at this whole endeavor from a historical perspective, I have deliberately kept my shop 'primitive'. It remains unheated other than the wood stove, and un-insulated. I have no electric hook-up, though I do occasionally use a gas-powered generator to run my power hammer. Somehow, by doing this I feel more connected with the smiths of the past. I feel more like I'm continuing the tradition, than I would in a modern building with heat and lights and a paint job to make things look nice. The shops of old were not often fancy places; they were of necessity, dark and probably cold, and rustic. Yes, I know, if the old-time smiths had had access to the modern conveniences that we all take for granted, they would have embraced them gleefully, if they were affordable. The thing is, they didn't have that option and had to make do with what was available to them. Somehow, as silly as it sounds even to me sometimes, I feel that maintaining that state is important, and strengthens my connection to those who came before me.

Products

      Because my interest in blacksmithing came about largely due to my previous interest in living history, the first things I made at the forge were items related to that interest. Campfire irons, s-hooks, trammels, pokers, cooking grills, tomahawks, rifle stands, lantern stands and other products related to "primitive" camping were the things that got me started. These things led to others .... candle holders of all types, trivets, fireplace tools, kitchen pot racks, plant hangers, plant stands, door hardware, trunk hardware and so-on. In other words, I will try most anything that I feel I am capable of doing well. If you have something in mind, let me know what it is, and we'll take it from there.

back
New Products

      Working with my wife, we have recently become involved in doing old-time tinwork. Again, using traditional tools and methods, we are re-creating late eighteenth and early nineteenth century tinware, and offer things like candle holders, wall sconces, match safes, nutmeg graters, scoops, funnels, Christmas ornaments and tree icicles. Our specialty is pierced tinwork, and panels for use in decor items, furniture, and antique restoration.

      Please browse through the photo's on either side of the page and have a look! Click on them to see a larger picture.

back
About me
History Of The Blacksmith

      I got my start in blacksmithing purely by accident. My father and I attended a farm auction several years ago with the hope of purchasing an old truck to use as a source of spare parts for a couple trucks we already had. Someone else outbid us on the truck, but just as we were about to leave, a forge and blower came up for sale. The auctioneer was having trouble getting a bid on it, so I stuck up my hand, and ended up taking it home!

      After unloading it in the corner of an old shed on the farm, the forge sat unused for several months. One rainy day, when any other work was out of the question, I decided to drag the forge over into the doorway and see if I could get a fire lit in it. All I had for fuel was a bucket of old stove-coal briquettes. In my ignorance, I didn't realize that it wasn't really suitable for use in a forge, but I did manage to get it lit, and thought; "Now I've got a fire ...... what should I make?" At the time, I had just been bitten by the Buckskinning bug, and having seen photos of campfire irons in a couple Buckskinner/Black Powder magazines and needing some myself, I decided to make some.

"Continue>>"
About Me Continued

      I had a very small and beat-up anvil, and an equally damaged 2lb. cross pein hammer, so, grabbing a bar of 3/8" square iron from the scrap pile, I went to work. I cranked and cranked the blower using that old stove-coal and finally got the bar up to a dull red heat, and started trying to draw the end out to a point. Strangely enough, it began to look like I thought it should, and to my very great surprise, in a couple of hours, I had forged a complete set, consisting of a pair of uprights and a crossbar. The uprights were pointed to drive into the ground, with loops at the top to support the crossbar, and hooks to hang utensils. The crossbar also had hooks on either end, and all three pieces were adorned with decorative twists in the center. Then, I made a simple fire poker. I was hooked!! Completely!!

      The rest, as they say, is history! I realized from that very first attempt, that blacksmithing was something I wanted to pursue, to learn more about and hopefully someday become proficient at. To take a stiff, strong and unyielding material like steel and, with the application of a little heat, to watch it flow and transform from one shape to another, to yet another under the hammer is something that still fills me with awe, each time it happens!

      Though my level of skill has improved since that first day, I am just beginning to scratch the surface of what's possible. I hope you'll look through some of the photos of my work, and enjoy what you see. By the way, I still use the fire irons that I made that first day, and each time I do, I think about how they started me on a lifelong journey to become a blacksmith.

History Of The Blacksmith
History Of The Blacksmith

      Blacksmithing is an ancient craft, known to be at least 6,000 years old. In ancient times the blacksmith attained an almost mystical respect as only he worked with what were believed to be the four elements - fire, air, earth and water. His basic material, iron came from the earth, his forge contained the fire, his bellows controlled the air, and water cooled the iron and tempered the hot steel.

      In less mystical times, the smith was no less respected by his fellow man. Before performing the smallest of tasks, the other trades people, for examine the carpenter, wagon maker or ship builder, first had to go to the blacksmith to get their saws, hammers, chisels, nails and other tools of their trades. The surgeon depended on the smith for his scalpels and other instruments, as did the soldier for his swords, spears and armor. No less dependent was the homemaker, who, from the earliest times until the mid nineteenth century cooked over and open fire or in a fireplace which required andirons, shovels, pokers, tongs, cranes, trivets, ladles and forks. Hand forged candle stands and lighting fixtures provided the lighting for the home.

      The blacksmith, once the most indispensable artisan in the community, actually contributed to his own demise by developing the giant machines of industry used to mass produce the tools and implements that were once handcrafted one at a time. For example, John Deer was a blacksmith and Richard Sears, founder of Sears Roebuck & Co., was the son of a blacksmith. Merchandising giants like Sears and Eatons drove thousands out of the blacksmithing trade.

"Continue>>"
Blacksmith Continued

      Mass production does have some advantages, the main one being uniformity. Parts from one item will fit another, which makes repairs simpler. However, in a society flooded with mass produced, cheaply made and often disposable goods, there is an ever increasing appreciation and demand for hand crafted articles.

      Thus the resurgence of the blacksmith, traditionally forging and forming items one at a time so that each article will have its own distinct character. There is a great deal of satisfaction in possessing and using an item that was made by an individual who cares about the look, feel and function of his creation and in knowing there is not another exactly like it anywhere!

FLATLANDER FORGE
D.M. (MIKE) DICKIE
~MEMBER OF WESTERN CANADIAN BLACKSMITH'S GUILD
~ARTIST BLACKSMITH ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA
Flatlander Forge Links




Sorry Still Under Construction. Please check back at a later date. Thank-you.
Contact Us

D.M. Dickie
Box 85
Pennant, SK
S0N 1X0
Ph:(306)-626-3295
Fax:(306)-626-3654
mhd@t2.net
The form below can be used also if you don't have an e-mail program.
Your Name:

Your Email:

Subject:

Message:
:message Thank You :name For Your Email Regarding :subj
We will respond asap.

:picdesc
Please Click on Picture
to Enlarge.
Please Click on Picture
to Enlarge.
Please Click on Picture
to Enlarge.