Thank you for reading South Mountain Journal

South Mountain Journal by John Canan, Photographer, Journalist

Contact Us for inquiries, corrections, or requests.  

Artful Living - Bladesmith Erin Aylor Enfolds Life Lessons Into Steel

Artful Living - Bladesmith Erin Aylor Enfolds Life Lessons Into Steel

Stepping out of his Myersville, MD woodworking shop preparing to start a project in his Blacksmith Forge

Do you or have you ever had the sensation, the internal gnawing sense of something that is vague yet feels bigger than yourself,  that hints to a purpose, a vocation, or some manner of putting your mark on the world?  

"Living artful living", is this Frederick County, Maryland native's response to a world, that to him, does not seem well crafted.  Inferring that good crafting equals a good community to live in.  This framework referencing both his preference for items made by people and feeling disconnected from the American population and it's emphasis on material accumulation and superficial fixes.

With everything he needs within arms reach of his rural farm, Erin the tension of falling into reclusion and being a social butterfly.  This keeps him dancing that dance between quiet introversion and connecting with his audience while cultivating new audiences and evolving his craftwork.  To quote Thomas Jefferson "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock", and working from his woodworking studio and his blacksmith forge gives him the opportunity to do just that.

Erin says that the concept of the Hero's Journey, is something he feels deep in his bones, much the same way that his art work calls to him, deep within himself somewhere.  

Erin showed an appreciation for balance in life, family, friends, and art.  And numerous times at his place I observed his giving nature and his commitment to paying forward interest in craftsmanship and community.  Some examples of these were helping a friend cut up and package meat to put in his freezer, opening up his tranquil pond to some local fishermen, and sitting quietly with his young son and enjoying the evening breeze.  

I see Erin as having intentionally put himself in the place that he loves with the people that he loves, while immersing himself in the work of his heart. Having arranged his life like a gardener arranges a rose bush with his clippers. Erin has cultivated an atmosphere that supports the love and joy he so freely shares, while serving his community through his craft, and his presence.  In a sense, Hawkwood Farms, Erin's home, is an uncontaminated cocoon where he has apprenticed himself too his life.

Samurai sword blade done in Damascus steel style.

For more information about Erin, you can find him on the web at www.hawkwoodmountainfarm.com where you will find information about upcoming classes, order a custom wood furnishing or knife,  and nature his outings.  

For local press coverage of his participation in the History Channel's "Forged In Fire" series, visit the Frederick News Post online 

 

Blessed With Lumber – a Family Business Finds a Place in the World

Blessed With Lumber – a Family Business Finds a Place in the World