Jack Parks - Blacksmithing

Master: Jack Parks, Piedmont
Jared Capp, Spearfish
Aaron Fortier, Sturgis
Art Form: Blacksmithing

Some of Jack Parks’ extensive knowledge of blacksmithing was learned through an SDAC apprenticeship in the early 1990s, so it is fitting that he is now passing on what he knows through the same program, this time as a master teacher. Jack uses traditional coal forges and does all his work by hand, making everything from utilitarian tools to elaborate decorative architectural ironwork. He started Jared Capp and Aaron Fortier making the tools they would use for their later work, and gave them a strong grounding in the fundamentals and the proper forms and techniques that make the work easier. The work starts with understanding and managing the fire in the forge, and moves on to drawing out the heated steel, bending, twisting, cutting, and welding. Both apprentices already participate in Jack’s monthly hammer-ins at his shop and plan to continue developing their skills and sharing them with others.

Jack Parks and his son Seth run Fire Steel Forge in Piedmont.
Metal sign on street post, reads "Fire Steel Forge."

Master blacksmith Jack Parks (center) with his apprentices Aaron Fortier and Jared Capp and some of the pieces they made.
Three men standing behind low table with steel items the men made together. Master blacksmith Jack Parks (center) and apprentices.