Mark Aspery is a British Smith and a certified journeyman with the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, (a UK guild started in London in 1324). Currently an Associate of the company (AWCB), Mark is also a certified farrier with the American Farriers Association (AFA). He does maintain that these qualifications and a dollar will only get you a cup of pretty poor tasting coffee, but that the endeavors were priceless.
Mark owns and operates the ‘Mark Aspery School of Blacksmithing’ , traveling North America teaching classes and giving blacksmith demonstrations. Mark has written three volumes of his ‘How to’ blacksmith book series, The Skills of a Blacksmith, and is currently the editor for ABANA’sHammer’s Blow magazine. Mark is careful not to call himself a traditional smith, perhaps classical is a more apt phrase.
Mark likes to use classical joinery techniques where budget and design allow. An underlying ethos of Mark’s work is ‘make the tools before you can begin the job’.
At this time Mark does not do any regular commission blacksmithing, just the occasional small job, and states “I am a little out-of-touch with that side of the profession.” Mark states that the single most important event that has improved his blacksmithing has been to teach it – having to know the root of the skill or information.”
Mark maintains that he is as much a student of blacksmithing as the next smith, and is ready to learn more – with a subject this vast, how can he say anything else.