About Us

Front Step Forge

The forge performs a wide range of work, from simple counter brackets to major public works projects. Front Step Forge has decades of experience with traditional techniques, and works as a consultant for time-period specific repairs and duplication of original work. We encourage you to read over Our Process steps below for more information on how we simplify custom projects. Our Services page shows some of the work that we do, and our Portfolio page can be a great source of inspiration for your project.

Our Process

As an artist-blacksmith, our focus is on commissions. This is a project where you specify the work and your vision of what you would like to see, and we make it happen. This can be anything from a major public piece of art to a small knife constructed from a piece of iron or steel with sentimental value.

It is important for you to meet with the artist to define the project. We receive many requests that start with “how much to build me a desk?” This is a very open-ended question. Would you like something with tube legs and a flat top, no drawers? If the answer is ‘Yes’, it is probably better to go to a welding shop or visit Ikea. Would you like a historical reproduction of a 15th century desk constructed from a single block of iron that was recovered from a sunken Viking ship? Or something in between? What is your budget? Do you have pictures or ideas of what it will look like? I would love to sit down with you, do some sketches, and provide you with some estimates and ideas.

In general, if you contact the forge with a request to handcraft you a Captain America Shield from our secret supply of vibranium, you likely won’t get an answer right away.

My request to understand your budget is critical in providing you with a design that is within your price range. This just helps me answer the question of whether you are looking for a simple desk, or one that will be passed down through the generations and everyone that visits your house will comment on. Both are perfectly reasonable projects that the forge will take on, but understanding the scale of the project is generally defined by the budget.

I prefer to talk to you live—and encourage you to make an appointment to see me so that I can show you examples of techniques that can be used in your project, do some sketches, and present you with a time and cost associated with your project. In this age e-mail seems to be the way we like to communicate. Unfortunately, there are no computers in the forge as they seem to melt to easily, but we like visitors and phone calls!

Featured Links:

Edmonton Blacksmith Discusses His Career and the Culture of the Trade
CTV two: Metalsmith
CBC's Artspots Profile ft. Shawn Cunningham
CBC's Artspots Profile 2nd Edition ft. Shawn Cunningham
Global News – Royal Visit Kits ft. Shawn Cunningham
Edmontonians Will Soon Learn the Fine Art of Japanese Sword Making From One of the World's Best Sword Smiths
Alberta Craft Council
Artist Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA)
NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) - Blacksmithing Courses

Stocked Items:
Check out our store for a list of our current stock. We have a large inventory of home décor, art, blacksmithing tools, axes, and tools for crafts people. We are adding more items every day, so check in regularly! If there is something you don’t see, contact us and we can make it happen.

Hourly Services:
We provide time and materials support for a diverse range of clients. From historical repair and restoration, tool repair, and industrial tool production, our full service shop can provide solutions to your most challenging problems. We fuse traditional techniques with modern equipment to support residential, commercial and industrial projects. Minimum call-out services apply, and contact us for more details on our capabilities and rates.

We accept commissions for private and public art projects. Our metal artist blacksmith Shawn Cunningham has designed art for homes, parks, and public buildings throughout Canada. Depending on the size and budget of your project, he can provide sketches, scale models, and the final installation of the piece. Contact us to set up an appointment to discuss your idea!