Out on the western horn of North Carolina and amidst the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains is the small town of Sylva, home of blacksmith Matthew Shirey of Shira Forge.
It is in these storied hills that Matthew sets himself to perfecting his craft, forging rough-hewn and hardy kitchenware evocative of the rugged traditions of the eastern Appalachian frontier.
An avid student of history and tool making traditions, Matthew has long been inspired by the pioneer’s ingenuity and simple, elegant craftsmanship. His interests led him twenty years ago to attend a blacksmithing workshop in his native Pennsylvania, and he knew immediately that he had found his calling: soon, he had founded his own forge and set out to develop his craft, toiling hard on weekends even as he maintained a full time job. The years of dedication finally paid off, and he now devotes himself full-time to his passion, forging axes, knives, kitchenware and other tools whose designs are informed in equal parts by a minimalist sensibility and the durable craft of eras past.