J. T. Close began his blacksmith training in earnest in the autumn of 1985 when he was hired as an interpreter for the Deane Forge blacksmith shop, part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's "living history" presentation. Within a year, as blacksmith operations in the Historic Area moved to the larger, Anderson Blacksmith Shop, he was accepted into the Foundation's Historic Trades Apprenticeship Program. He completed the program and was named "Journeyman Blacksmith" by Master Peter Ross in 1994 and remains one of only six smiths so designated. Through the course of over 13 years in the employ of Colonial Williamsburg, he had the chance to study, draw, photograph and reproduce an astonishing array of early American ironwork. He has made everything from nails to the main screw for an 18th century style printing press.
In 1999, Close left the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and moved near Charlotte, North Carolina, where he has continued to practice as a smith. His work can be found throughout the historic area of Williamsburg and Carter's Grove Plantation, at Kenmore House in Fredericksburg and the "Newseum" in Arlington, Virginia. Near his hom, his work can also be seen at Historic Brattonsville In York County, South Carolina and Latta Plantation in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, as well as the Museum of Charlotte History. He has even supplied ironwork to the Mel Gibson film, The Patriot, that was largely filmed near his home.
Close works directly from antique items or from pictures in any of the standard references on period iron. His expertise Includes building hardware such as hinges, locks and keys, latches as well as domestic items such as cooking utensils and decorative accessories. He maintains his own small collection of iron work on which he can draw on to reproduce for those who demand such fidelity to an original piece. When needed, he also has an inventory of true wrought iron for those who understand and appreciate the historically correct material.
Much of the best quality ironwork of the Colonial and early Federal Periods was polished and decorated. Kitchen utensils, tradesman's tools, smokers' accessories and more were often furnished with this "bright" or "white" finish. So common was this quality of work, that producing it was frequently thought of as a distinct trade: that of the "whitesmith". Such polished iron goods of this nature are a special interest of Close.
Beyond period reproductions, Close also creates contemporary work and historical work done "in the style of." His work is impressed with an IC touch mark and dated, if necessary, to distinguish it from an antique.
Close does not have a catalog of standard goods. Instead, his work is custom-designed to meet the needs and tastes of individual clients. He recommends contacting him directly to properly communicate what you want and agree on a price and delivery. He believes that each of his commissions is unique just as each of his customers is unique.
J. T. Close blacksmith and whitesmith 1144 Lester Rd Clover, SC 29710 Phone: 803-222-7192 Email: email@example.com
Jay T. Close has been selected for the following Directories:
Biography updated October 3, 2016 Photograph updated October 3, 2016Contact information updated May 23, 2005
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