PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - If you're ever around a
blacksmith, don't ask him or her about horseshoes.
John Fuller is a master
which means he's very good at what he does. His works adorn private homes and public places. Fire
screens at the Pigeon Forge LeConte Center are
examples of Fuller's latest creations.
"That was a big undertaking. Those fireplaces were like four feet high, eight
feet long. They wanted some vine work with leaves and they wanted mountain
scenes throughout the whole thing," said Fuller.
He started 30 years ago but for the past 22 years, Fuller has been at Dollywood, giving demonstrations to crowds from all over the world.
the people who come through here watch me demonstrate and have a few basic
questions like, 'How hot is that?' and that sort of thing. A lot of the people come through to have something
made. They come onto the park and say 'I need this duplicated.'"
On this day, I was the only one there to ask
questions and the first one, it turns out, is a dumb one. I asked about making
completely different trade. A guy that makes horseshoes is called a
Ferrier," Fuller said.
Blacksmiths, Fuller points
out, do ornamental metal works. Garden items, traditional spoons and forks and
knife making are examples.
Fuller demonstrated how to
make a knife from a high carbon railroad switch plate spike.
Working in temperatures
over 2,000 degrees, he heats the metal, making it malleable. Using a
machine forge and a good old fashioned hammer, he starts to shape the spike.
Then using a high speed
sander, he continues the process. About two hours later, he has a nearly finished
"It's something that took a long time to get it right, tempering the metal and
everything, but we've got it figured out and we make a lot of them," he said.