As many of you may know, The Village Blacksmith has been a dream, helped make real thanks to my participation in the entrepreneur contest in 2015 in Gloucester, called Launch Gloucester. Our company profile was featured on their blog here, and I'm sharing it below. It was the beginning to opening on Gloucester Main Street, also known as the Gloucester Village. Totally fitting.
George Cramer started working with metal before the age 14, when he began welding, cutting and doing metal fabrication at his father’s New York refuse company.
As he worked and he learned welding, fabrication, heavy diesel mechanics and machinery repair, he got to thinking...
“I was welding one day and wondered where it all began,” Cramer said. “How did we get to this point in industry and who thinks of fusing metals together with an electric arc?”
His journey since then included studying under internationally recognized blacksmiths and bladesmiths, blacksmithing for over 13 years and creating a wide range of hand-crafted items. He also completed a stint in the Navy, where he honed his skills of welding,brazing, fabrication, sheet metal, structural repair and metallurgy.
With his experience and passion for making hand-forged knives and crafting ornamental iron work and blacksmithing, Cramer has plans to open a shop in the Gloucester Village called “The Village Blacksmith.” His goal is to provide custom metal work, blacksmithing, bladesmithing, reproduction, restoration, repair, welding, fabrication training and consulting on low- to high-end custom metal work.
Cramer is vying to be one of three prospective business owners selected from a pool of local entrepreneurs to share a combined value of $95,000 in goods, services and start-up capital to launch a business on Main Street. The Launch Gloucester program is part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia Community Business Launch initiative and is locally overseen by Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust and Gloucester Main Street Association.
“I enjoy taking something seemingly unmovable and strong and bending and forming it to my will as if it were soft clay,” Cramer says. “The process of blacksmithing has not changed much for thousands of years and is a dying art. It is a durable art form and craft that lasts through the ages; not only ornamental it serves a mechanical function that is only limited by one’s necessity creativity and skill.”
Cramer’s creations take on many forms. These include hand-forged bottle openers and knives, to decorative metal cutouts — crabs, cartoon characters and even a society coat rack — to rose-shaped metal candle holders, to signs and re-purposed nautical tables made out of portholes or a cabin door.
For Cramer, bringing The Village Blacksmith to Main Street would allow him to show a wider audience of residents and visitors his hand-crafted wares. It also would help him show how metal has a wide variety of uses and applications, from the practical to the decorative.