blacksmith making ram head
Personal Work

Made in America: Keith Herendon, blacksmith & artist

By Sheri Oneal

In 2010 I started a flood relief project called ReTune Nashville, we gave flood damaged instruments to Nashville visual artists, they created art out of the items to re-sale for money to donate to flood victims. While working on that project I met Keith Herendon a Nashville blacksmith specializing in custom doors, rails, gates, fences and art. I have stayed in touch over the years and felt inclined to showcase him for my new blog series “Made in America:Nashville.”

I personally have always been intrigued with welding especially when relating to art and Keith does it all. A blacksmith generally works with metals, heating them to a fiery red color so that they can shape the metal by bending, hammering and punching with an array of tools. When the metal begins to cool after it is heated a layer of oxides forms on the surface of the metal from the heat called black fire scale…thus the “Black” in blacksmith. The “smith” refers to the old word “smite” which means to hit.

The industrial age has nearly put an end to the blacksmith trade. Machines can produce optimal results faster and cheaper than an individual can. Because of this the “blacksmith” has become an artist who creates unique items custom to what a client needs. The benefit of working with a skilled “blacksmith” such as Keith is that they can produce custom designs that suit a client’s unique needs.

I am looking for interesting story ideas in the Nashville area and need help finding these unique small business individuals. If you are a small business owner with a story, offer a unique product and/or service or know of someone I want to hear from you! Please message me with your suggestion and your phone number so I can review it and contact you if I feel it will work with this new series. If chosen I will schedule a photoshoot, write up a story line with your approval, post it in my blog space and market it across the web. I will also allow you to use the blog link for your own promotion. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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