Dwyer F.W.C.B.
Art & General Blacksmith
From Design To Installation
Helmsley, North Yorkshire
07791 847 233

At Work

Artist Blacksmith Matthew Dwyer who works from his forge near Helmsley,N. Yorks. was born in and grew up in County Meath, Ireland. After a formal education he began a four year apprenticeship as a toolmaker / machinist with a small engineering firm in Dublin. During this time he gained a lot of basic metalworking skills applicable to the craft of blacksmithing.

In 1983 Matthew moved from Ireland to North Yorkshire and began a career working in the
racehorse industry, traveling to and working in Canada and America before returning back home to Yorkshire and setting up a horse livery business.

Having always been interested in the Arts & Crafts and “ wanting to make by hand ” Matthew’s wife Louise passed him an article on Blacksmithing and from this point his first steps on the journey to become an Artist Blacksmith began. In 1994 Matthew was accepted onto a Basic Blacksmithing course at Hereford College of Technology.

As part of the course involved doing a stint of work experience he found a placement with
Chris Topp & Co. based in Thirsk, N.Yorks. Matthew must have made a good impression ! because, when his course at Hereford finished he was offered a job with Chris Topp & Co.
Matthew worked for Chris for 15 years becoming his workshop manager and during his time there worked on some of the most prestegious blacksmithing contracts going at the time, including Buckingham Palace, Chatsworth House Castle Howard to name a few.

Whilst working for Chris Topp, Matthew was awarded a bronze medal by the Worshipfull Company of Blacksmiths, in recognition of the high level of skill and expertise evident in his work.

In 2006 Matthew and his wife Louise who is a jeweller opened Saltbox Gallery in Helmsley
N.Yorks. Saltbox Gallery made a name for itself showcasing Fine Art & Craft, specializing
in fine handmade jewellery and metalwork. It was during this time that Matthew left Chris Topp & Co. to set up his own Forge and Workshop and began working on commissions for private customers.

Eventually life became too busy and in 2016 Matthew and Louise sold Saltbox Gallery in order to concentrate on their first love , “making by hand“ .

The main body of Matthew's work is responding to a brief proposed usually by a prospective client or Architect / Designer. Once designs, budgets and timescales are agreed the job commences.
Most of the time Matthew works alone but can call on other blacksmiths to lend a hand on larger projects. Matthew forges all components by hand using appropriate hand tools and power hammer.
The usual material used is solid steel sections though he is adept at using other materials such as Wrought Iron should the project require it. " One gets a great sense of satisfaction on turning a
load of steel delivered on the back of a wagon into something beautiful and appreciated for years to come "
When a job has been finished and put together, the next stage is to send it for galvanizing which will protect forged steel against corrosion for years to come, then the job is painted to a colour of
the clients choosing, Ironwork does not necessarily need to be Black !! And then final fixing or delivery to site.

Matthew Dwyer Blacksmith At Work
Strike tha iron whilst hot!
Easy does it.
tomorrow's another day .