Lockhart Ironworks is a family owned and operated blacksmith shop in the Southern Ohio Hocking Hills region. Doug Lockhart, has been a blacksmith for over 35 years and has received recognition from the blacksmith community on numerous occasions. Doug has created masterful works of art and industry, from creating the smallest wall-hook to restoring an iron bridge in Zoarville, Ohio.
Aiming to carry on the art of Blacksmithing, Lockhart Ironworks offers Blacksmithing classes throughout the year. They aim to educate and inspire the next generation of blacksmiths, and provide an experience for those who have always wanted to try and forge their own creation.
"Our work philosophy has remained the same. Our goal is to produce the very best quality ironwork, to the best of my abilities, at a price that many people can afford. We are grateful to our many clients and their great ideas! We want your pieces to provide you with years of joy, functionality and value.
Our hands and our talents are gracious gifts from God. We try to infuse spirit in each heating, each hammer strike and each bend. We feel like we have found our purpose. It is a great blessing that we have the grace to do what we love to do everyday. We will continue to produce quality made original works of art in the old ways. Each piece is done with care because it matters."
How it all began
In 1981, I took a two year course at Salem college in Salem West Virginia. The course was Heritage Arts the study of 18th and early 19th century trades and traditions. The one course that I excelled in immediately was Blacksmithing. I entered this school as a glassblower, and when I saw how hot steel could be heated, manipulated, then hardened as it cooled, I couldn't help notice the similarities of iron and glass, except that when finished... iron would last forever! I was mesmerized and still am to this day. In six months time I started to teach new beginning students, and by my second year I was teaching all beginner classes.
After leaving college I took a few jobs in the Living History fields where I was able to use my training somewhat as an interpretive tool. In 1985 I decided to try to make a full time living at Blacksmithing. My first shop was an old smoke house on a farm we rented it measured 6ft x 8ft. There was just enough room under the roof for a small rivet forge, anvil, and a leg vice. I actually had to stand outside the door to work! Three months later we moved to a new farm and my shop was above a root cellar and measured 12ft x 12ft. I at least could work inside now! Two months later I moved into a garage that was 20ft x 40 ft we put in two forges and hired our first employee. We began supplying most of the east coast gift and craft shops with ironware. This has been our sole income for many years. I now do more custom, one-of-a-kind work. Although I still welcome production wholesale market work. I was trained as a traditional Blacksmith and worked most of my career as such until 2003.
In 2003 I turned 40 years old and I believe something chemically happened to my brain at that time. For some strange reason I found myself thinking and seeing ideas in abstract or very contemporary. I wanted to complete thoughts and ideas I had in iron in an abstract way. Yes I was now starting to sculpt the very pieces that I used to make fun of in earlier years! I then started to experience a new freedom with my work that I never had before. This is now a continued work in process of which the inspiration seems to come much faster than can be made.
The Next Generation
Doug's children, Ben Lockhart and Danielle Russell, are carrying on the family business, and have received recognition in their own right.
Ben (16) has been blacksmithing and bladesmithing since he was old enough to pick up a hammer. He has received numerous awards for his creations.
Danielle (23) proves that blacksmithing isn't about muscle and brawn, but about finesse and control. She has also received recognition and awards from the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil Quad State Round Up. Danielle was featured in the Girlfriends Mid-Ohio Valley Spring 2017 Magazine.
Danielle and Ben were asked to be instructors for Basic Blacksmithing at the S.O.F.A. Quad State 2017 Round Up.
Quality Handmade products, hand-forged in Ohio
Our goal is to provide products for people who are passionate about quality, care and uniqueness. Every product is made with high-quality American steel, forged in our Ohio shop, and can be delivered and installed if necessary.
Past Work & Clientele
- Camp Tuscazoar: Reconstruction of the historic Zoarville Station Bridge in Dover, Ohio. The Zoarville Station Bridge is the only Fink through-truss bridge known to exist in the United States. Further information in a Columbus Dispatch article on the Zoarville Station Bridge Project.
- Governor Taft and First Lady, Hope Taft (2005) commissioned us to reproduce two wall sconces. Now hanging in the Ohio governors mansion.
- Singapore Embassy building in Washington DC commissioned us to produce custom snow guards for the entire roof of the embassy building.
- Governor Taft and the State Christmas Tree Ornament, 2002 & 2004.
- The White House, National Christmas Tree Ornament for President Bill Clinton.
- Ohio Governor's Mansion has two Sculptures in the Heritage Garden. A sheave of wheat and a cluster of arrows from the Ohio State Seal.
- The Nelsonville Gateway: 18-foot-high gateway arch clearly marking the way to the Historic Disctrict. This was erected on Rocky Boots Way, a street that connects Canal Street to Public Square in Nelsonville, Ohio.
Awards & Recognition
- Hemispheres Magazine, "Smiths Like a Girl," October 2016
- Ohio Magazine, "Labor of Love" August 2015
- Country Living Magazine, "Learning to Dance with Fire" July 2015
- Better Homes & Gardens, Top 10 full-time blacksmith shops in the United States, 1989
Learn more about the Southern Ohio School of Blacksmithing