Steve Wolfe's Seymour Forge will close aftermore than 35 years of turning metal into art when his blacksmith equipment goes under the auctioneer hammer in February.JENNA BISHOP January 23, 2014 4:21am
For more than 35 years, metal masterpieces have decorated the walls of the Seymour Forge, however, February 1 will signal the end of an era for the workshop when its contents go under the auctioneer’s hammer.
After nearly 50 years of turning lifeless metal into creative works of art and horse shoes, the forge’s owner and blacksmith Steve Wolfe has decided to swap the forge for the farm and concentrate on his 17
‘‘All good things must come to an end,’’ Mr Wolfe said.
‘‘It’s about having control of your life. I want to go back on the land as a farmer before I go on the land as fertiliser.’’
Mr Wolfe said he had been involved in the agricultural industry working on properties across Victoria ever since he left school at 15 and combining the two was getting harder to manage.
‘‘My life is just getting unbalanced. I can’t do what I used to do, timewise,’’ he said.
Mr Wolfe has collected an extensive array of tools during his career, all of which are set to be auctioned.
Among the many are four historic anvils, one of which is at least 200 years old and a coke forge, which runs on the byproduct of propane gas.
There’s also an assortment of 104 sets of tongs and hammers which Mr Wolfe has created to suit any shape of metal.
‘‘People think working with metal is hard, but when you heat it up, it’s like playdough,’’ he said.
During the forge’s busiest times, Mr Wolfe employed five apprentices and welcomed exchange apprentices from across the globe, including Germany, California, England and South Africa.
Life working at the forge hasn’t exactly been easy for Mr Wolfe — he’s now got a metal hip, back and foot, which he said created havoc at airports.
It’s an irony not lost on the man who spent most of his life working with metal.
‘‘After all the years with shoeing horses and them stepping on my feet, the bones were all crushed. I kept working through it and all the bones fused together, so they fixed it with metal,’’ he said.
‘‘I was the first person to put shoes on yearlings, it had never been done before,’’ he said.
In the 1960s, there was no formal farrier apprenticeship, so Mr Wolfe developed his skills working alongside experienced tradesmen.
Later, he became a foundation member of the Farriers and Blacksmiths Association of Victoria and was one of the first 10 Victorian farriers to gain trade accreditation in 1986.
Mr Wolfe said the farrier trade has also changed considerably since he began — 33 years ago it cost just $7 to shoe a horse; in 2014, the price is $140.
In addition to shoeing horses, Mr Wolfe also specialised in correcting leg deviations in foals, including building a unique mobile restraining table for horses to lie calmly on.
‘‘There was no way of holding them down, because they’re wriggly little buggers, and so I built the table,’’ he said.
In 1997, Mr Wolfe decided a change of direction was in order, and began concentrating on decorative ironwork.
His works are displayed across the shire, including the St Mary’s College fence, Lighthorse Park gates, the All Abilities Playground, the Habitat Tree at Lions Park, the big metal shark, and several decorative chairs at Tallarook Hall.
Mr Wolfe said he enjoyed the creative side of metalwork, and had entered items in numerous competitions, as well as judging state and national farrier and blacksmith competitions.
He spent many hours working with students from VCAL and other community organisations, helping them develop practical, employable skills while creating metal art for display in the region.
‘‘I really like helping people and working with the students,’’ Mr Wolfe said.
‘‘It’s interesting to look back on all the things I’ve done, and wonder how I did that.’’
Goulburn Valley has mostly selected skips in its bid to reclaim the Norm Knopp Shield tomorrow.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.