I was going to write about striking knives and why you might want one…but then did a quick search of our web site and came across Christopher Schwarz’s early 2009 post “3 Things I Like About My Striking Knife” – so I’ll just send you there instead. But you don’t need to troll the antique … Read more
Tag Archives: Peter Ross
You may not really think about it, but much of woodworking is history. Today we use tools from centuries back, we assemble projects using joinery that has stood the test of time and we reproduce furniture styles from as early as 1650.That’s history. The photos to the left were not taken from my local post … Read more
This smith’s hand-forged tools and hardware combine art and function.
By Megan Fitzpatrick
Today, we aim for too much perfection; period work wasn’t like that,” says blacksmith/whitesmith Peter Ross. Handwork, he says, is a culmination of learning to do things quickly with few tools and little fussing, whether that’s working with iron or working with wood. With a sufficient level of skill, “you end up with pieces that have a spontaneity…but in a fairly controlled way because of the person doing it.” That ephemeral quality of controlled irregularity is what draws Peter to historical work.
Peter has been interested in period tools, hardware and techniques since his introduction to blacksmithing during high school, at what is now called the Long Island Museums at Stony Brook, in Stony Brook, N.Y. He then volunteered and was later employed at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, an 1860s living history museum on Long Island. After two years at the Rhode Island School of Design, Peter left college to work with Dick Everett, a smith who specialized in historic reproductions of house hardware, in East Haddam, Conn., before opening his own smithy on Deer Isle, Maine, in 1976. Three years later, he became a journeyman blacksmith at Colonial Williamsburg as the living history museum was transitioning the smithy from creating souvenir pieces to making authentic reproductions of historical metal artifacts. Peter soon became the shop’s master, and until 2006 worked at Colonial Williamsburg where he investigated historical methods of work and produced metal work for the museum.
Video: Watch as Peter Ross makes a pair of forged dividers.
Blog: Read more about the Roubo holdfast Ross made for Christopher Schwarz.
Web site: Discover the Tools and Trades History Society, publisher of “The Tool Chest of Benjamin Seaton.”
To Buy: “The Tool Chest of Benjamin Seaton, 2nd Edition” Read more
Our publishing schedule is pretty straightforward, except for the confusing parts. We put out an issue every other month, starting in February. But the February issue is really January/February so it comes out at the end of December, the month before the cover date. Then there is an issue for April, June and August. But … Read more
After a week of work (and a lot of fun) assisting Christopher Schwarz with his “Anarchist’s Tool Chest” class at Roy Underhill’s The Woodwright’s School, it was nice to slow down and spend some time with blacksmith/whitesmith Peter Ross before I made the 8.5-hour drive back to Cincinnati. Roy and Jane Underhill kindly offered me … Read more
The first time I taught at Roy Underhill’s school in Pittsboro, N.C., Roy made sure that I met Peter Ross, a blacksmith who worked at Colonial Williamsburg for 25 years. We all ate dinner at gas station in Saxapawhaw – probably the best gas station food ever made on this planet. Seriously. Check this out. … Read more