Iron John Logan
Iron John Logan
Born John Thomas Logan in 1986, I was raised in rural Michigan by my odd couple parents: my father was 60 when I was born - my mother in her 30s - and with their collection of interests and life experiences I had a very eclectic childhood. Growing up on a centennial farm with barns and dogs and lots of land to explore, they gave me a knife and allowed me to to build forts and camp by myself at an early age. My father's stories of Scouting in the 1940s and my mother's love of history distilled in me a passion for how people used to do things, make things, and live in the past.
Throughout my childhood and into my Scouting years (I attained the rank of Eagle Scout 2003) I was always making things with my hands. I began taking classes in traditional crafts like wood carving, bucket making and antique tool use (officially say I started blacksmithing at the age of 12) by the time I was 18 I knew I wanted to study art and blacksmithing the rest of my life.
In 2004 I went down to Penland School of Crafts in the mountains outside Sprucepine North Carolina to study blacksmithing and the art of Iron. Always one to pick up nicknames being John from the Iron Studio I quickly became known as Iron John. At this same time, I spent my summers working as a historical interpreter at Philmont Scout ranch in Cimarron New Mexico and the nickname followed me there. Living and teaching a particular time period for an entire summer taught me a lot of great life lessons and cemented my love of history and craft.
In 2009 after my 6th summer working at Philmont I came back to Michigan to do art and blacksmithing professionally. Finding it difficult to make living selling art, I began making reproductions for the reenactment community. Having been a long time American Civil War reenactor myself I was first drawn to mid-19th century iron and blades but would jump at the chance to do work from other time periods just so I could learn and study something new.
Since as long as I remember I have always been drawn to military history, knights and castles, arms and armour, and the technologies that shaped the history of conflict. Humans have always had a reverence for arm and armour, and as art they grace the halls of some of the highest art museums in the world. Arms and armour are one of few true snapshots of time and culture - they always employ the most current technologies, trends and styles for their given age. Be that a 5th century Romo-British Spatha to a 18th century Spontoon even the lowest of weapon tells the story of their time and place, resources, culture and society, and the person that carried and used said item - the highest can be gleaming examples of human ingenuity and skill. It is this pinpoint accuracy that keeps me coming back studying techniques and sciences connected with these historical objects.