A Brief History Of Ship's Coy. Forge
In 2003 Med started blacksmithing at The Fort At No. 4 living history museum in Charlestown, New Hampshire. He worked in the museum shop on his own and with other smiths, constantly learning about the craft while supplying the museum with tools and hardware. In 2006 Med moved to Boothbay Harbor, Maine to work at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, a traditional wooden shipyard specializing in plank-on-frame ship construction. While there he was forging tools for boat builders and hardware for wooden boats, as well as participating in the Maine apprentice shipwright program. Some of the ships he was able to work on while there were the replica ship, DISCOVERY, built for the Jamestown Settlements 400th anniversary and the HMS BOUNTY, a ship he previously crewed on for a year. When a position opened up to work at Ball and Ball Reproductions in 2007, he moved to Pennsylvania, where he spent three years honing his skills while making historic reproduction hardware for museums and private homes, including Independence Hall in Philadelphia and a large amount of hardware for the restoration of James Madison's home "Montpelier" in Virginia.
In 2010 Med and his wife Mo, moved back home to NH and started Ship’s Coy. Forge. While continuing to offer high quality custom and reproduction ironwork for local homes as well as restorations around the country, Med has been putting more and more energy into forging tools for boat builders, timber framers and anyone looking for a good quality, hard-to-find tool. Since 2010 he has sent his tools everywhere from the Maine to Alaska, and even to Australia for the Australian National Maritime Museum.
The focus of Ship's Coy. Forge is to use traditional techniques, mastering the hammer and anvil, to create ironwork that will stand the test of time. We look at original tools to pattern our forgings after. We feel that mastering the fundamental skills of blacksmithing allows us to do more with fewer tools. This is not to say we do not take full advantage of modern equipment, but often find it unnecessary to use it. There is much to be learned from what has worked well in the past.
In the fall of 2015 Med and Mo moved into the woods of Lyman, New Hampshire. The new property was without a shop but with LOTS of help from friends, old and new, they spent the winter building a new shop. The new shop falls right in line with Med’s work, a hybrid of old and new, the main forge shop is an 1840’s hand hewn frame that was originally erected as a blacksmith shop. It was reclaimed from down-east Maine in the early 1990s. Attached on the back is a conventionally framed addition which houses the drafting area, grinding/finishing machines, and woodshop where tool handles, mallets and other projects are crafted.
Ship's Coy. Forge is a name that ties together the different aspects of Med's work - colonial historical and maritime. "Coy" is a common 18th century naval abbreviation for "company." Therefore "Ship's Coy" would refer to the crew that accompanied a particular sailing vessel.
-Continuing the Craft-
Med is continually researching and taking workshops to better himself as a craftsman. He also teaches blacksmithing to people interested in the trade, both in his own shop and at different craft schools around the North East.