Forging a career as a blacksmith in the Cape Fear area
Bridgers works at the anvil in his studio.
A close look at the detail involved in Bridger's work.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The clanging of metal coming
from a small shed in Brunswick county sparks new life into an old profession.
Jeff Bridgers shapes just about anything he wants when his
material is hot enough for the hammer. The blacksmith has his own forge, his
own anvil, and even his own niche.
"Time is money, even in an old fashion blacksmith shop," he said.
Before Bridgers opened his own shop, Black Heat Forge, he finished
the welding program at Cape Fear Community College. He found work after
graduation, but Bridgers wanted an outlet that offered more creativity.
"There are endless possibilities as far as design," Bridgers
said while rearranging curved metal scrolls he hammered himself.
He has the talent to make fine art, but Bridgers focuses his
skills on projects of a more practical use. From gates and tools to handrails
and retail displays, Bridgers has found ways to add some personality to what
some consider ordinary objects.
His customers seem to share his sense of everyday art.
"It makes the world seem a bit better that I can make
something completely from scratch and they see that and they appreciate it," said
You can appreciate his work up close at several locations. He's
currently redesigning the store displays for Wilmington's own Freakers. His
contract with South Front Apartments let the budding blacksmith shape bathroom
fixtures for every apartment.
And the business might be gone, but Bridgers work at the former
Crow Hill location still stands in downtown Wilmington.