For almost 20 years, Al worked in high-production industry in St. Louis, Missouri, acquiring experience in the building, operation, and maintenance of machinery used in that environment. He began blacksmithing as a hobby after having been introduced to the art during a visit to Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site in Illinois. He became a volunteer at the park, learning 19th century blacksmithing techniques in an authentic setting. Several years later Al had the opportunity to turn his hobby into his career, and so moved to Pennsylvania to work full-time as a blacksmith making colonial hardware reproductions and custom projects. In 2000, Al and his wife Sylvia began Pequea Valley Forge, producing a line of contemporary cooking utensils, candleholders, and home accessories. Pequea Valley Forge relocated to northern Alabama in 2006. Al’s background enables him to combine modern technology with historic production methods to create unique hand-forged items. Pequea Valley Forge is dedicated to high quality work with attention to craftsmanship, form and function.
Al is a member of the Alabama Forge Council and the Artists-Blacksmiths Association of North America (ABANA) and has always been active in local blacksmithing organizations and historic sites. He enjoys doing volunteer demonstrations in educational settings.