I just got back from a great trip out east. I spent the week at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts assisting Peter Ross in teaching a lock making class. Haystack is located on Deer Isle in Maine and is an amazing and inspiring setting to be learning and making in.
If you don't know Peter Ross, you should make yourself familiar with him. Peter was the master blacksmith at Colonial Williamsburg for 25 years and now lives and works in North Carolina. He has a deep knowledge and understanding of colonial ironwork, both of its history and how it would have been produced. He is an extremely generous person with his knowledge and a patient and thorough teacher. Oh yeah, and he makes amazing work.
The goal of the class was to teach the students how to make a crab lock. A crab lock is a lock that would be mounted on the inside of a chest that and would keep the lid locked shut. We spend as much time at the forge as we did at the bench filling and making all the parts work smoothly. The students were all really hard workers who were excited to learn and it made for a very productive and efficient class dynamic. This was the first time Peter had attempted to teach a lock making class and it was a wonderful surprise when almost all the students walked away with a working lock. Not an easy task to say the least!
Above are a couple shots of what I got done in class. I had not made this style of lock before, so it was a fun challenge to use the lock making knowledge I had and approach it from a different design. There is still some finish work to be done, especially removing the rust that a week on the Maine coast will create!