Glenn Jones at Rustic Iron Works creates handcrafted items in the Cariboo using traditional blacksmithing techniques.
A designer and craftsman, he has an eye for detail, a belief in tradition and a commitment to customer satisfaction.
“I can design something for you or you can tell me what you want,” he said. “Draw me a picture and I’ll make it.”
He custom crafts a large range of items, from household items such as fire place sets and grates, plant hangers and door handles, to things like a boat motor bracket, a root-digging tool for traditional medicines and hardware used for mule pack expeditions.
“This is a natural choice for me,” he said. “Lots of people use modern welding techniques, but I want my stuff to be original and nostalgic. This is unique and personally satisfying.”
He makes strong, attractive, durable items you can’t get anymore, and hand-crafts brackets, grates and drawer pulls which are beautiful for log homes.
A recent project was custom brackets for a wooden handrail at an odd angle, which were impossible to find anywhere else.
He has also designed and crafted a unique set of rune pendants for friends.
One of the most unusual things about his work is the methods he uses.
“I use mainly coal, or charcoal for my forge, and use an anvil, a hammer and a hacksaw for a lot of the jobs,” he explained. “I hand-make rivets like a traditional blacksmith would have done.”
He said that coal for the forge is hard to come by, but is the best for blacksmithing: dense and efficient, with far higher BTUs than wood.
This started for him when he was about seven years old and went to Barkerville for the first time.
“I would stand and watch the blacksmith for hours,” he stated. “When I was 10 years old we went for the whole weekend and I spent more than two solid days watching him – it was like a moth to a flame.
“I liked that you could take a chunk of steel and make it into anything you want, and took to this right away. I hung around and asked a lot of questions.”
His interest in blacksmithing continued in high school where he excelled in welding.
“A friend gave me my first blacksmithing hammer, and when my dad passed away I inherited his portable forge and his anvil and started using it right about. I really liked making something out of steel, like knives out of car springs, and making tools like chisels,” he added.
Besides working as an excavator operator in the oil fields, he was an airplane and helicopter mechanic for the Canadian Air Force for 12 years.
“I learned a lot: had a year in technical college and three years as an apprentice,” he noted.
Jones also repairs and rebuilds vehicles: welding and replacing metal.
He said he wants to expand into doing more custom work, including things like security screen sets, brackets and door hinges for log homes.
“What makes me happy is when my customers are happy,” he said. “I want them to be absolutely thrilled with what they get.”
For more information about Rustic Iron works, phone 250-255-1020, email email@example.com or visit www.rusticironworks.ca Glenn Jones is also at the Williams Lake Farmers Market Fridays in Boitanio Park.