ABOUT THE CLUB

Columbia Fire & Iron hosts hammering events for our membership, from beginning workshops for those new to the craft to more advanced classes for experienced blacksmiths. We are a growing organization founded in 2013 and we have lofty goals of building a blacksmithing community here in Spokane and drawing from the surrounding region, to keep traditional metalwork alive and continue to learn and experiment with modern techniques and tools.

We host two Hammer-Ins each year so that blacksmiths from all over our region, both seasoned and aspiring, can gather for two days of hammering. There we share knowledge and build skills, both teaching first-timers and learning from masters.

View our upcoming events here.

BOARD MEMBERS

Steve with blacksmithing students in Chengdu, China.

PRESIDENT

Steve McGrew

ABOUT STEVE: Steve began blacksmithing in 2004, is presently President of Columbia Fire & Iron, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Blacksmith Association. He has taught approximately 350 students blacksmithing and knife making since 2008.  In 2014 he helped organize Columbia Fire & Iron, a blacksmithing association that serves central and eastern Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana.  Steve has published approximately 25 how-to articles in blacksmithing trade journals and websites including two ABANA journals and the NWBA journal.  His Rhino anvil design has become popular across North America. He has done public demonstrations of blackmithing at the Spokane Interstate Fair and other venues annually since 2009.  His dandelion sculpture commemorating young victims of the great Sichuan earthquake has been on display at the Earthquake Museum in Chengdu, China since 2009.  He taught a one-week blacksmithing workshop for art students in Dujiangyan, then Chengdu, every Spring from 2009 through 2016.  Steve considers himself a blacksmith hobbyist.  In his “other life,” he owned and managed a small high-tech business, from which he retired in August 2017.

Steve's Website: www.incandescent-iron.com

Morgan-Jade holding her first piece of metal work.

VICE PRESIDENT

David Kailey

ABOUT DAVID: As a kid 8-9 I met a Blacksmith Named Vern who owned "the Village Blacksmith" shop in Fallbrook, Ca. I use to spend time watching them forge these fantastic components, on massive power hammers and dropping tools in mid stroke with precision timing. They use to "let me" chip all the welding slag off the pieces they produced. lol. Flash forward 2011 I spent the winter months playing around with cut and weld metal art in my shop with my good friend Jess Chaney work was slow and that got us out of the house. I was 34 and tired of having such a long "bucket list" and decided I should make it happen one of the things on my list was blacksmithing. I sent out several email to smiths I could find within 250 miles and asked if I could apprentice, I got a single response from Steve McGrew of Incandescent Ironworks. He said he taught classes so I saved up $320 bucks and took a 2 day class in January of 2012. I was so excited I could sleep that night..... At 5am I was dressed and ready to go to my class......the one that started at 8am, I left at around 7ish for the 12 min drive and sat in my truck on the road close to Steve's house for 20 min and after a neighbor came and asked what I was doing I finally just drove in 20min early and parked. I smithed with Steve and another student. I was unbelievable. It took me about 8 months to save up for a 240lb Rhino anvil..... but I got some forging done on a hunk of RR track and a hole in the ground, pipe and my wife's hair dryer. In September 2012 my youngest daughter passed away for unknown reasons she was 6. I did several yard art pieces with my wife, Gina and both our daughters Madelynn and Morgan-Jade. I spent several months very depressed and hardly able to function. I was told many time I need to get out and get busy with something, anything... My wife made me promise I would at least go to the shop. I didn't have to do anything I just had to drive there and unlock the door. After day 4 I actually went in the shop about, 8:30am and after an hour or so I put on some music...having two daughters my taste in music had softened a lot so I listened to acoustic, soft rock, adult contemporary...... you know that touchy feely music. So there I was forging steel, listening to Adel and I started to cry. I just kept forging as my tears hit the anvil and the hot steel. Picturing myself, 6'3" 250lb stock mans man... forging steel, listening to Adel and crying, It made me think about what the look on Morgan-Jade's face would be, if she were to walk in at that moment. I started laughing. So I kept forging, I cried, laughed, pondered, meditated on encouraging bible texts, thought about the love showed by my friends, and how blessed I was to have Gina, Madelynn and Morgan-Jade, thanked Jehovah god for the hope of the resurrection. I don't even have any memory of what I actually forged that day, about 6pm I got a call from my wife seeing if i was ok..... and I was. I was ok. So forging became very therapeutic for me, it was an outlet for my emotions, allowed time for me to ponder, to remember the good in my life, my family, my god, and I was just what I was..... if i felt like crying i did, if I felt like laughing, i was happy to be feeling again.....  I started selling some of my work and it got to the point were it started adding up to several thousands of dollars so I figured I should start a side business and report the income. At Breakfast one morning I asked my daughter Madelynn what we should name the company.......she said we should name it after Morgan-Jade, she'd have liked that. So for 3 years I forged, I never allowed myself to be embarrassed or hide how I was feeling, I listen to music I feel like at that moment...ect. This is who I am battered, scarred, loved, alive, hurt, faithful, and I am good with that. Every dime I made smithing, and some I made from my job went right into buying the next piece of equipment I needed to further my addiction. In February 2016 I moved into a small 30x30 shop and started blacksmithing full time. I have had to sacrifice a lot of things, boat, collector guns, archery bows..... ect, and Gina and Mady have cut some things out also so I can do this. How great it is to be able to go to my smithy....Morgan-Jade Ironworks & Forge... open the door and go to work.

David's Website: www.morganjadeironworks.com

TREASURER

John Huffstutter

ABOUT JOHN: John Huffstutter's Quailside Forge in eastern Washington grew from his passion for making "stuff." A change of careers gave him the opportunity to turn an eclectic collection of interests and hobbies into a focused avocation. He has now been blacksmithing for more than twelve years, with a focus on traditional styles and methods. He blends smithing with woodworking and his other hobbies to produce attractive and functional items. Blacksmithing is physical, mental, creative and fun. “It’s rewarding to use a two hundred pound anvil, a three pound hammer and fire to make metal shape to your will.”

Email John at: quailsideforge at gmail dot com

WEB DESIGN & MARKETING CHAIR

Mallory Battista

ABOUT MALLORY: I have always been interested in metalwork; as a kid I made sculptures out of bare copper and steel wire and as an adult I became fascinated with the idea of blacksmithing. I first met Steve at the interstate fair, and I was thrilled to find out that blacksmithing is actually feasible to learn! My husband has been the biggest supporter and instigator in my pursuit of learning the craft. He surprised me with my first hammer and a two-day class with Steve for Christmas back in 2014. After that, I attended CFI hammer-ins and have been lucky enough to learn from Steve, David, and John. I'm working on piecing together a shop in my small garage, and I hammer with CFI whenever I can. I am a graphic artist and a writer, both sedentary jobs, and I love that blacksmithing gets me off my butt and makes me think in a different way.

Mallory's Website: www.mallorybattista.com

Are you interested in becoming involved with Columbia Fire & Iron?

Contact us by email at smith (at) columbiafireandiron (dot) org.

We are always looking for volunteers for upcoming events and may even have room on the board!