Blacksmith Jake James was hired by the District of Metchosin to create posts to hang “Welcome to Metchosin’s village core” signs on Happy Valley and Metchosin roads.

Blacksmith hammers away at Metchosin welcome signs

Jake James is pounding red hot steel in Metchosin, busily creating functional art for the village core.

James is creating two posts resembling Garry oak trees that will hold a commercially made aluminum signs stating “Welcome to Metchosin’s village core.”

James was hired by the District to create art posts. The project will replace a wooden sign, which rotted due to the elements.

While steel will rust, James explained, it will be made of such heavy plate it wont deteriorate in any of our lifetimes.

“Jake is a talented local blacksmith,” said Coun. Moralea Milne. “It’s (going to be) a little bit of public art incorporated into a functional use.”

Council approved $7,400 from the business development fund for the signs in December.

“After discussions with our local businesses in the village centre last year, they determined they would like some signs that are welcoming and unique and that let people know they are entering Metchosin village,” Milne said.

The signs are expected to be installed in front of the municipal grounds on Happy Valley Road and in front of the heritage church on Metchosin Road in April.

When designing the pieces James made sure to incorporate a rural and organic feel to reflect the attitudes of Metchosin.

“They are going to be steel plates riveted together,” James said. “They will have a natural oxide finish.”

With a chuckle James explained that means they’ll be rusted.

“I am just going to brush it up and chuck it outside, and they’ll rust. Eventually everything goes rust anyway,” James said.

The finishing touch to the pieces will be a clear coat to prevent rust rubbing off on people who may touch the signs.

In his workshop, James uses propane fire as well as a coke fire, a fire fueled by already burned coal. “So then there is no smoke or dust,” James said adding, “the propane furnace is more economical.”

James works with an assortment of hammers and tongs but for big jobs he uses a “power hammer,” an enormous mechanical forging hammer that stands taller than James.

“I swing a three and half or four pound  hammer by hand. The 200-pound power hammer does in one hit what would take me half an hour,” James said.

This is not the first public art piece that James has created. His artwork can be seen in the James Bay in front of the Serious Coffee on Menzies Street and in Beacon Park in Sidney.

In James Bay the piece is of a lady on a bike with a coffee and cellphone crashing into a tree.

“It’s a commentary on how busy we are,” he said. “In Sidney it’s a lady power walking with a silly little pocket dog.”

James, 34, and has been a blacksmith for 12 years. He attended a blacksmith school in England and then trained for three years under a master blacksmith.

While he lives in Sooke, James has been operating his business Jake James Artist Blacksmith Inc. in Metchosin for six years.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Saanich woman runs marathons to make dreams come true

Hempler gutted her way through 122 kms with minimal breaks, to support Help Fill a Dream Foundation

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read