Mike Spencer
Artist Blacksmith


Dragon door knocker

Only for an old Victorian or, preferably, Gothic home. It's too damn big to fit in the space behind an aluminum combination screen/storm door.

Dragon Gates

Gates for a summer residence in Chester, Nova Scotia. The curve along the top of the pickets is a catenary. Pickets are forged to rough 1"x1" from 1"x2" leaving the full 2" as a boss where they attach to the top rail. A separate forged stand-off is used at the bottom.
The left dragon, with a claw at the end of his tail gripping a piece of native quartz, operates the gate latch. The finger that lifts the latch runs through a hole in the dragon's chest and is held in place by splitting the end, inserting a wedge and forming the small scrolls to hold the wedge in place.

To the right of the main gates is a garden gate, shown here before installation. This gate has a fairly commonplace spring latch, not shown.

This gate, like the other pair, is joined at the corners by splitting pockets in the 1/2" x 2" bars the hard way, driving in a drift and closing the pocket on the drift. The horizontal members are forged at the ends to match the drift and the rivet holes drilled after the four pieces have been clamped together and squared up. This proved to be an attactive and sturdy method of joining, albeit a little tedious and error-prone in execution.

Representing the wings just with the spikey ribs was a nice way to simplify the design and avoid cluttering the overall lines with raised sheet metal ones. But they required several re-adjustments with the torch before they were positioned so that those using the gate wouldn't stab themselves on the sharp points.

Dragon Andirons

Quite some time ago a number of people complained that iron dragons were, well, just old. It Had Been Done. It was a cliché and trite and just, well, old.

Sorry, folks, but it's out of our hands. The iron dragons have learned to reproduce on their own. Although most reptiles lay their eggs in warm, moist places, it makes sense that fire-beathing dragons would incubate the little guys as nigh the fire as possible so a nest on top of an andiron seems just right.

And it was a double-yolker!

We're not sure about this one...

Is this little guy a dragon proper, a lizard, a microsaurian?

Head, body and tail forged from one thick piece, split and drifted from the underside to give him a fat middle. Legs forged separately and attached by concealed welding inside.

The client wanted a critter that would cling to teh wall near the ceiling so there's widget inside that fat tummy and bracket that can be screwed to a wall. A small bolt then connects the critter to the bracket and conceals it.

Sea Dragon

Not all the iron dragons breathe fire, nest on the land and fly. Some live in the sea.

Updated: Mike Spencer -- Sun 03 Oct 2010