Paul Diefenderfer, known to most as just “Dief”, was instantly hooked on blacksmithing when he saw a blacksmith demonstrating his skills at an arts & crafts festival in 2001.
Prior to becoming a blacksmith, Dief was a computer programmer – before PCs and a mountain guide. In 1992 he started Phoenix Rock Gym, Arizona’s first indoor climbing gym. His two passions in life are rock climbing and blacksmithing.
There is something magical about forming hot 2000 degree steel with a hammer. The hammer becomes an extension of Dief’s arm as he works the pliable metal. His hammers range from little 1-pounders up to a 110-pound “BigBlu” power hammer. Steel can take on an amazing variety of textures as it is heated in the forge and worked with various hammers.
Art is everywhere. Dief’s artistic abilities have been expressed in gates, railings, door pulls, wall hangings, candlesticks and even resort luggage carts to name just a few.
When he is not at the forge, Dief can be found climbing, hiking, rescuing animals and exploring Arizona. Click HERE to see the adventures of Dief.