Third-generation blacksmith George Cavalliere's Scottsdale studio gets hot and heavy with his forge work.

Studio Snapshot: George Cavalliere

Written by Isabella Castillo Category: Arts Issue: December 2016
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Scottsdale-based blacksmith George Cavalliere, third-generation owner of Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop in Old Town Scottsdale, doesn’t shy away from hard – not to mention hot – work. In a store open for business since 1909, Cavalliere is the only employee, crafting ornamental wrought iron items such as cow brands and eccentric door handles with his own two hands. Cavalliere starts his process by heating up his materials to a malleable temperature. He then transforms these ordinary pieces of iron into beautiful works of art, using a hammer as his paintbrush. 

“Forge work is exhausting and painful,” he says. “But it’s the part I enjoy the most about my job.”

 – Austen Browne

The Canvas: 
Cavalliere uses a flat steel anvil to hammer his hot iron.

Right-Hand Man: 
A cross peen hammer coaxes his material into different shapes and sizes.
The Masterpiece: A personalized cow brand is one of many pieces in Cavalliere’s repertoire.
The Buffer: Trusty tongs hold the hot iron steady when crafting while preventing burnt hands.

The Mask: 
A welding mask protects the eyes from intense infrared (IR) light and stray bits of iron