Desert Rat Forge
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 (he started climbing in 1975) and blacksmithing.
There is something magical about forming hot (1800 degrees) steel with a hammer. The hammer becomes an extension of his 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 and exploring Arizona. Click here to see the adventures of Dief.
Phoenix Home & Garden article August 2011