Iron John Logan
I was born John Thomas Logan in 1986. Growing up I had no clue that I was different from other people of my generation – With a father that lived through the Great Depression and survived World War II and a Mother that picketed against the Vietnam War – to say the least I had a non conventional upbringing.
I was raised in rural Michigan, with the closest neighbors living about a half mile a way. The house I grew up in had belonged to a centennial farm, and though my parents only had five acres, I had the run of over a thousand. At a young age (about 3 years old) my parents decided it was a good time to give me a knife. My father ground the tip off so I couldn’t stab myself, showed me how to use and sharpen it and let me out into the world of sticks and trees and popsicle sticks. By the time I was six I was using hatchets, by eight I had felled trees with a full length axe.
My father always kept a woodshop, stocked full of tools and piles of scrap lumber and projects never quite finished. I spent much of my time in there, though I wasn’t allowed to use many of the tools without my father around, I remember climbing atop the work bench to reach his prized chisels and planes that he kept out of my reach.
Though he didn’t know it – he was distilling in me a deep love for old tools, tools that make chips and curls and soft noises as they slide through an old piece of pine, oak, or cherry. I started collecting antique tools. From junk stores, flea markets, antique stores, any where I could find them. I amassed a large assortment of wooden molding planes, adzes, draw knifes, augers, and saws. I would refurbish them and then begin to use them. Working totally by hand, I got most of my material from the fence rows and woods around were I lived. I would square, saw, plane these trees into boards and then begin to build. But there were tools that I saw in my books that were either too rare or too expensive for me to buy, so I asked my parents for a blacksmith set up for my birthday – I was about to be twelve…
When I was 18 in 2004 I studied at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. My first “concentration” was taught by Marc Maiorana and he showed me the truly artistic side of metal working. After coming home I knew what I wanted to do – to set up a shop of my own. I cleared out a space in the bottom of one my parents’ barns and set to work making, finding and refurbishing blacksmithing tools. I also began on an associate’s degree in fine art and metal working.
In 2008 I began doing Blacksmithing full time when I moved my shop to the old Horner Mill in Eaton Rapids, Michigan.
2009-2013 my focus shifted from antique tools and black iron into bladesmithing and sword smithing
In 2013 the shop moved back to the family farm in the same barn the old wood shop had been.
I met Copperrein in 2015 and together we continue our arts today. Please check out our Projects page to see our past and current work