About the Blacksmith
My name is Del Martin. I was raised in Burlington, Vermont, and received a master's degree in Structural Geology from the University of Vermont. I moved to the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, where I married and settled in Monterey, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, I have lived here and worked as a mechanic, firefighter, blacksmith and farmer. Around 2008, it became clear to me that I did not want to grow old repairing automobiles, and I started Knox Trail Forge, turning my hobby of thirty years into my full time employ. My designs include colonial reproduction hardware; hand-forged knives, axes and tools for the kitchen and farm; and architectural elements for the hearth, garden and home.
I love my work because I love old stuff— everyone is fascinated by a mummy. My craft is forged in steel and comes from an appreciation of the function and longevity of antique hardware. I seek to impart my own creative style to make the next generation of enduring metalwork. I use traditional hand forging techniques— fire, hammer and anvil, coupled with modern metallurgical science and tools— to create pieces that are attractive, functional, and, ultimately, meant to evoke a feeling of antique craft. When I begin a project, I have a vision of what I want to create and a rough idea of the steps involved. But standing before the anvil and fire, it is the metal that guides the blacksmith as much as the blacksmith who guides the metal. This is what makes each day at the anvil a real joy.
My continued fascination in blacksmithing was born of the blacksmith’s self-sufficiency. The blacksmith is unique among craftsmen in making his or her own tools. I hope to share my enthusiasm with others for this historic practice of craftsmanship and inspire others, as my forebears did me, to take up the hammer.
You can read more about me in this article from the Berkshire Eagle: