Vendor Spotlight – Jackpine Forge


Danika Malysh and Mike McGuinness | Jackpine Forge

What is your business, and what do you make?
We are blacksmiths that make practical and ornamental art out of steel.

How did you get started in this business?
Mike started over 30 years ago working with a farrier that came from a long line of irish blacksmiths. With his time split between cowboying on ranches and blacksmithing he has perfected his skills to produce beautiful works of art.
I started blacksmithing with Mike two years ago wanting to learn how to make horseshoes and quickly branched out into more ornamental work.

Is this a full time job for you?
It’s part-time. We both cowboy for ranches full time.

What is your first memory of making something?
Mikes first item he made was a chisel. That is the beauty of being a blacksmith is that you can and quite often do make all your own tools.
The first item I made was a set of horseshoes made from flat bar stock. It took me over 3 hours to make them and since have become a lot quicker.

What are your favorite and least favorite things about being craft fair vendor?
Our favourite thing is the people you meet, it is amazing how many people are interested in the art of blacksmithing. And the different feedback and ideas you get from the people who come into our booth.
Our least favourite thing is the expense of entering the shows. Along with all the driving time to get to and from the show.

What is the biggest compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
Mike worked at Historic Hat Creek ranch as the blacksmith there seasonally for the tourists. A German Tourist came into the shop at Hat Creek and liked his work so much he took pictures of the items to show to his friend who is a world renowned blacksmith who does restorations on the metal work in Cathedrals around Europe.

What is one holiday tradition in your family?
I come from Ukrainian Heritage and every year we all get together on Ukrainian Christmas and have the traditional meal and sing Ukrainian Christmas carols.

What was the last gift you gave someone?
Mike custom made me a set of shotgun chaps. (He’s pretty handy we do leatherwork and braid rawhide as well)

If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Build a nice shop then keep right on blacksmithing until it was all gone.

Do you believe in Bigfoot?
Mike says yes. I’m undecided, anything is possible right?

Describe your workspace/studio in three words
Smokey, dark, dirty