Forty Hills Forge – Brian and Sharilyn Clowes

Forty Hills Forge is a full blacksmith shop located just outside Grey County near Neustadt, Ontario. Brian and Sharilyn Clowes offer a number of workshops for those interested in learning their craft as well as high quality custom pieces for local customers.

We’re breaking the mold in issue one! Technically you’re not in Grey County but we think you’re close enough. What brought you to the region and when did you open your forge outside of Neustadt?

We both grew up in Grey County for our formative years.  After many years of living cross country and abroad as well as much globe-trotting, we had a longing to return and set up a self-sufficient lifestyle.  When we purchased this property, we had no idea of the potential or what it would grow into – and is still growing into!  After the orchard, gardens, animals and extensive home renovations, we began building the blacksmith shop.  Now we are setting up a ceramic studio for Sharilyn and working on a show room to be opening later this year!

How long have you been blacksmithing and what initially inspired you to take up this craft?

Brian has always been involved in the metal trades.  From welding, fabricating and drafting he has a wealth of experience!  In 2004 he began working under various blacksmiths learning this more creative trade.  In 2019, he started working in his own shop.  In 2020, Sharilyn decided to take up the hammer and learn about forging as well!

What offerings do you have right now and which are you most excited about?

We are very excited about working with customers to create custom one-of-a-kind pieces for the home.  Whether it be a stair railing, or unique furniture – if you can dream it, we can help make it a reality!  We also have an extensive line of ‘functional art’ which we can display at local shows, stores as well as ship around the globe! 

How has the community in Grey Bruce supported you? Where do you think there might be room for improvement?

Grey Bruce is an incredible area to be situated!  Beyond the draw of the landscape and ‘moving home’ to this area, it’s great to be a part of the community again.  We have loved having people out to see our shop and try their hand at blacksmithing and learn how ‘forging’ is different from other metal trades.  Looking forward to future networking with other small businesses in the area. 

Why do you think that craftmanship are important to preserve in our world today?

In today’s fast paced technological lifestyle it’s more important than ever!  So much around us is mass produced by machines.  To find something that has been created by another human’s hands makes it incredibly special.  You can feel the difference in your own hands, and it’s actually the imperfections that make it unique – just like us!

Website:  www.fortyhillsforge.com

Social Media Links: @fortyhillsforge on Facebook and Instagram

Contact:  519-367-2664 or fortyhillsforge@gmail.com

Address: 265 Bruce Road 6E Mildmay, ON