Winter Drew Design ~ Metalwork

Artist Blacksmith Blog - Forging by the Sea

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Western States Blacksmithing Conference - Mt. Hood, OR

Carmel Artist-Blacksmith Alan Drew was invited to be one of 6 demonstrators at the August Western States Blacksmith Conference at Government Camp, Oregon. The gathering included the West’s most noted Artist-Blacksmith’s who as group revere and support education for up and coming artists.

The event kicked off with Opening Ceremonies in a large outdoor amphitheater, dramatically back- dropped by Mt. Hood, where a crowd of 150 Blacksmiths, students and visitors enjoyed the music of six musicians, including Drew, who had just met the night before and put their show together. Following the music was a demonstration on hand forging a traditional alpine Ice Axe by Montana artist Jeffery Funk. The culmination of his Demonstration was when he pulled a piece of Andesite Lava from a kiln and drove the completed Ice Axe through the molten rock permanently embedding it there.

Drew’s demonstration included a lecture and power point on his approach to environmental design followed the next day by a demonstration of a number of forging techniques used together to create a small candelabra.

You can read more about the event and view Alan Drew’s work at or visit the Borroméo Forge Gallery on S.E. San Carlos & 7th in Carmel-by-the-Sea. For more information on the art and opportunities in Blacksmithing please visit The California Blacksmith’s Association website at


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alan Drew's Latest Works and the Borroméo Forge Gallery

Alan and apprentice, Jesse Jensen have been working on a fanciful and decorative railing for a beautiful San Francisco residence. Below are some pictures of the newal post at the forge and part of the railing installed. Our blog has been silent as we have been filling our year with creative projects and new endeavors. One of the best aspects of the year is the development of a solid blacksmith team. Jesse Jensen joined us in October of 2010. Alan and Jesse truly enjoy working together, at times they are joined by Jesus Moran and Alan's son and blacksmith in his own right, Evan Drew.

This June, yes in a week, we will be opening our Borroméo Forge Gallery of Artisan Metalwork in Carmel-by-the-Sea! We have found a great gallery shop on the S.E. Corner of San Carlos & 7th in the Bell Tower Court. Our inventory is growing slowly as Alan and Jesse finish the San Francisco railing and focus on our treasures for the hearth and home. As our sign goes up and pieces arrive I will keep posting!

Join us on-line or in person at or in The Bell Tower Court!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Alan Drew ~ Winter Drew Design on The Arts Map

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Forging with a Side Dish of Chanterelles

Fall is here with cooler weather, longer evenings and the smell of wood-smoke in the air each night in Carmel. At this time of year, working at the forge hammering out fireplace tools is particularly appropriate. There are so many wonderful things to be made in forged steel that I thought I would blog on about one of my favorites. Consider if you will, the simple and humble hand-forged hook and its infinite varieties of style.

One of my favorite designs is a hook by Alex Weygers in his book The Modern Blacksmith. Alex Weygers was a true Renaissance man who lived in Carmel Valley, CA during my younger years.

When I was about 8 years old my mother was acquainted with Alex Weygers' and his wife Marian, who was a printmaking artist in her own right. A visit to their home and fascinating hand-crafted studio was memorable and inspiring.

Another very special memory for me was a trip to the Little Sur River on one of the Weygers' outings. The point of that trip was to collect limestone cobbles for students to practice stone carving. Going out into the hills and finding your own stone to carve is like making your own brushes and oil paints. It is the pure craft.

In the true tradition of a master Alex Weygers taught his students not only the concepts and skills to sculpt in stone and wood. He also taught the skills of blacksmithing so his students could create their own carving tools from scrap steel.

His design style in metal was beautifully simple and functional. The Weygers' Style hook with its built in nail, was the first thing that I ever forged in steel. The process of making one of these seemingly simple hooks involved so many of the basic techniques of blacksmithing; creating one hook was like completing some sort of test.

Fireplace shovels were another tool where Weygers' design sense made a very pleasant departure from what we see every day. Rather than make the tool handles exclusively from steel, he chose something more original. His shovels were designed to be fitted with polished fruit-wood handles from limbs that he had collected in Corralitos, CA during pruning season.

Alex Weygers created Fine Art by carving local wood and stone with tools he made himself. To me this is the epitome of the true master/ teacher in the classic sense. He designed one very cool hook as well!

Here is our side dish....last week while hiking at Santa Lucia Preserve we found the first Chanterelles of the mushroom season bursting out of the dampened earth!

Posted by Alan

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2010 California Cowboy Calendar

David Stoecklein, spent time with us at Santa Lucia Preserve a few years ago, photographing people, horses and landscapes. He has included an image of Alan at Santa Lucia Preserve in his 2010 California Cowboy Calendar.

You can find David Stoecklein's great Cowboy photography, books and calendars at

David is incredibly talented and great fun! He has endless energy and a great eye for the finer details of a horse and cowboy. This is one of my favorite detail shots. Posted by Lisa

Alan and his sister, Leslie Dorrance at Santa Lucia Preserve


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Opening Day of Andiron Season

After 20 years of blacksmithing, it was time to change the business model with a new website. We've developed the first production designs, built prototypes, rebuilt them, weighed them, packaged them and delved into a national advertising campaign, Whew! We are in the retail world now and have a new respect for everyone who has set up a retail business from the ground up; a very different animal than commissioned works.

While creating "one of a kind" commissioned metalwork is very rewarding, it can also be at once exciting and frustrating and tends to be a challenging business model! I am sure that is why someone created the process of casting iron and bronze. But of course, we're a blacksmith shop not a foundry, so we won't be casting anything around here.

In commissioned work, our pieces would often involve new and untried processes and design details. By the time I had finished, I had the techniques pretty well figured out, but then I might not use them again for years! I always thought that my work could benefit from spending more time honing and studying a metalwork design until I knew it inside out.

Our challenge was to find our way to efficiency while not compromising the authenticity of the metalwork. So here we are, designing original pieces that will be produced in signed, limited-editions of 200. It's exciting to develop our designs and continue to work that same design until I really know it, like an old friend. And I mean, I really know these pieces; I don't think I have ever weighed a pair of my andirons before and I have certainly never crafted the same design twice.

Our new business model transformed our approach from a fire drill of deadlines for the one-off commissions into a thoughtful, design driven process offering efficiencies to both artist and client. At our place, artfulness is not forsaken by production


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