David & Tobi spend their days getting hot and sweaty in their workshop at Ashmore Arts, Torquay. They both share a passion for iron which has landed them in their dream jobs today.
David is a Black Smith / Sculpturist who studied the trade at the age of 17. Due to the demand for cheaper products therefore leading to offshore manufacturing, David was forced into a new trade and became a carpenter. He spent the next 20 years working as a carpenter whilst being very frustrated that he couldn’t practice his art of forging iron. During his career as a carpenter he also became disheartened by the issue of overconsumption in the building industry and the impact this had on the environment.
Identifying a returning demand for quality, long lasting iron products, David reignited the hearth andreturned to his passion of forging iron. He continued his carpentry work to maintain cashflow, and within a few years his reputation spread and he was able to put the building tools down and pick up the irons full time.
Simply Forged Custom Ironworks has now been in operation for five years and the demand for David’s work is continuing to grow. His work varies from heritage restoration, to large scale sculptures and kitchen utensils. Nearly every custom order he receives is different, and a lot of the time he is required to make new tools to complete the order.
The philosophy of Blacksmith work flows through every job David completes. His products do not require a warranty, because they are made to last forever.
Tobi, originally from northern Germany, moved to Australia 12 years ago to work as a German and English language assistant in schools. He had a strong passion for cooking and discovered he could not find the exact knives he personally required. Tobi completed a weekend course with a blade smith where he learnt some great skills, although this course specialised in hunting knives. He began buying vintage Japanese knives and restoring them, but was still not satisfied with the equipment.
Metal Monkey Knives was established six years ago and was a side business specialising in kitchen knives. Due to high demand for Tobi’s product, he is now operating full-time and working on customised orders for world wide clients.
Tobi’s work is the epitome of handcrafted products. Each knife requires extreme patience and detail, with a basic knife taking 15 hours to complete.