Whimsical, detailed, and often mechanized, Barry Wheeler's creations are not the typical blacksmith products. Barry combines his training and experience in traditional blacksmithing with other metalworking skills to create items that make people smile.
I graduated from Hiram College in 1966 with a BA in German Literature and Art
History. My wife finds my German skills handy in completing crosswords. While at
Hiram I completed a twelve week sabbatical studying the art of Europe...the art of
toasting in multiple languages being among other skills learned.
After a stint covering the geography of Vietnam for two years, I returned to the US in 1971 to begin as the fourth generation of Wheelers to become a metal worker as owner and operator of the Evening Star Forge in Vermilion, Ohio in the same building
where my wife remembers buying bananas from old Mr. Rathbun in his dry goods store.
I then began blacksmithing at Hale Farm in 1976 until the 1980’s. I began blacksmithing
at a forge in my garage in Akron where I continued to make many pieces that I sold to
buyers across the country and England. I still work out of my garage, only now it is my
studio here in Ashland where I continue making art, teaching beginning smiths, and
making replacement keys for difficult antique safe locks among many other
Some of my awards and grants are:
My approach to art and blacksmithing is always with a sense of whimsy and humor. I
never know what I will create next but it’s always an adventure. My signature is “Let
me entertain you!”
Learn more about Barry at the Ohio Arts Council website.
Even better, take a few minutes to watch a clip from Season 3 of Traditions: Ohio Heritage Fellows:
The Early American Artisans Fair is November 1 - 2, 2019 at Harvest Ridge Event Center in Millersburg, OH. We are expecting artisans who practice in the following:
Also happening on the grounds at Harvest Ridge the same weekend is another event - Earlier Times Antiques and Folk Art Show. Located in a neighboring building, Earlier Times vendors bring with them a collection of antique and primitive furniture and related items. The grounds at Harvest Ridge will offer visitors a great opportunity to explore finely crafted objects from pre-industrial through modern times.