Three Easy Steps

At Essential Craftsman we have been transforming ideas into singular, functional, elegance for a long time. We have reduced a complex creative process to three easy steps - Design, Fabrication, and Installation. Each step in the process can happen separately or in concert with the others, but your satisfaction is our aim at each step in the process.Als Ik Kan!


We feel the most critical part of any process is the design. Designs can originate in a variety of ways; you have an idea, you’ve seen a photo, someone has a Pinterest board you like, you read an article, you have a space to dress, or you just have some dimensions and need something special. Contact us and we can guide you through the process.

We usually begin by reviewing our portfolio as well as the work of other smiths for elements that appeal to you. We consider the design motifs that already define your space, why they are important to you, and how the ironwork should interact with them. Then we brainstorm all of the options of form and function that can be imagined. We accomplish this through the use of photographs and concept drawings - done onsite, or faxed as we visit on the phone or via Skype. Whether we visit your local site, or begin from our offices our initial visit and design service is at no cost to you and will usually include a projected cost range for your project which will be refined when the design is finalized. Shop drawings can be provided for other trades whose work interfaces with ours, and engineering can be provided for any structural elements that require an engineer’s involvement. Of course we are happy to work from your plans also, and welcome involvement from other design professionals!

After the design is finalized, you sign off on the drawings and we receive your deposit, your project is in the line-up and it’s time to start heating the forge!


Fabrication is such a poor term to describe the creative and painstaking process that brings our creations to life. It bothers us. It implies the use of arc welders, milling machines, cutting torches and band saws in the cut-and-paste stereotype that defines the steel fabrication industry - But we don't know what else to call it! In fairness, we do use every modern welding, cutting and machining process. We do this because if we didn’t, nobody could afford these labor intense items... but... we don’t use them anymore than we have to! It’s not that our love of the anachronism creates resistance to using these modern processes - well, not much anyways - but rather, it is only a blacksmith using traditional joinery done in a traditional manner that creates the authentic beauty of hand forged iron. Nothing else will suffice. So - we heat and hammer, punch, drift, rivet, mortise and tenon, collar, bend, upset and forge weld.

Als Ik Kan!

We always work on projects in the order the agreements are finalized and you are always welcome to stop by the forge to check on the progress of yours, or you can request that photos be put up on our blog. Blacksmithing is a dynamic process, and to quote Samuel Yellin, “some work may only be sketched at the anvil”, so you will be kept updated on opportunities to significantly enhance your design as the opportunities emerge from “the heat”.


Finally! The project is alive and ready to be placed in its final home! If you are a do-it-yourself person, or if you have a contractor that will be installing your project, after we receive final payment we will crate and ship the commission with clear instructions, templates and fasteners.

Or ,if you would like us to handle installation, Scott is a licensed and bonded contractor ( dba Wadco Construction, Oregon CCB License #125298) and will provide a written cost estimate and give you a start and end date. He will handle all subcontractor agreements such as electrical, drywall or painting modifications incidental to the installation. This gives us the capacity to provide “turn key” service regardless of the scope or complexity of your project.


The Source of My Obsession

by Scott Wadsworth

An article published in The Hot Iron News, 2005







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